Alison Miles-Jenkins explains why substituting one word in her thinking dramatically helped the marketing of her training business.
Because I am connecting here with my peers in the people development industry, I am sure I don’t need to share with you the reasons why we have a fear of failure. You’re probably au fait with the concepts of parental, social and gender conditioning and the baggage of past experience and self-limiting beliefs we carry around with us daily. But what I do what to share with you is something very powerful that I learnt about 18 months ago and which produced a paradigm shift in my marketing mindset.
A bit of history first…
As some of you who have attended the recent ‘Accelerate Profits’ workshops with me will know, for 20 of the 22 years that I have run my corporate training business ‘Training To Achieve’ I directed my attentions to everything other than marketing. I actively loved winning business – because I am competitive, ambitious and never satisfied – but I hated the idea of anything to do with ‘selling’. If I was invited to compete for contracts then I had no problem, because I had been invited or referred, or recommended. However to approach the possibility of new business cold was a complete anathema to me.
A sense of failure…
Of course, as a business owner I knew that a business’s inability to sell its products or services could eventually lead to disaster and I did dabble with flyers, marketing letters and mailshots, the odd advertisement, networking event and press release, particularly in less busy times. But when this did not produce the results I was hoping for, I felt that the effort had failed, that I had failed. Disillusioned, I would decide to waste no more time or effort which I felt would only promote further my sense of failure. Instead, I crossed everything and hoped the phone would ring. Which it always did in those days.
What I now believe…
I now realise that my fear of failure could have had disastrous consequences and I have been able to transform my mindset. How? I no longer think ‘failure’. I think ‘result’. If you try an approach with your marketing and selling and it doesn’t work or give you the return you were hoping for, this does not mean you have failed. It simply means you have a result. In fact, what you have is not just a result is it? What you now have is information, feedback and experience that will help you shape a twist, a turn, or a new initiative entirely and may well bring you a different result with the returns you hope for.
This focus on result rather than failure has led me to be much bolder in my marketing approaches. I am happy to take risks, not be so dependent on affirmation and approval, and above all, see the results as a great learning experience to help me drive my businesses onwards and upwards. I really hope you can do likewise.
Additionally, here are just a few of my tips:
- Never send out hundreds of emails or flyers first time round.
- Test two or three sample batches first – perhaps 3 sets of 30, all slightly different.
- Have a tracking system in place to monitor the responses
- Remember that changing one word, particularly, in the headline can double your response rate
- Split test on line marketing activity too
- Add a photo or take a photo off. See what your target audience prefers!
- Don’t take a poor response personally or emotionally
- The old adage “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again” should become one of your marketing mantras.
So there you have it – my paradigm shift that’s already earned me a lot of money.
Think Result, not Failure. Hope it helps you flourish in these challenging times.
Bye for now
Founder & CEO
How to Market Training: a business that specialises in giving help to trainers with their marketing