Value your time: don’t be perfect

The truth is, your clients are satisfied with less than perfection. They want excellence, and they want the job done on time, but they don’t expect perfection.

So if you’re devoting big chunks of your time trying to reach for absolute perfection, you’re doing it at the expense of other projects, or new business prospecting. In general, the quest for perfection takes more time and effort than it’s worth. I suspect it’s not really attainable, anyway.

Get the job done, and done well. Then move on.

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Stick to your knitting?

I was fortunate enough to have a large and growing television programming distribution company as a major client, back in the days when I was in the ad agency business. Every time the company opened a new division, there was more business for my agency, and that was nice, indeed. But it was not to last.

My client was so aggressive he was hatching new businesses — businesses he felt were logically related — at a remarkable pace. Soon there was a radio division, a kids’ programming division, a licensing division, and my agency had to run as fast as we could to keep up with them.

The problem was, the new businesses stretched the client’s resources, and demanded experience and relationships that were different from the ones that had brought him success in the television market. He didn’t really have a solid understanding of the new markets he was facing.

The result was inevitable. The new divisions faded away quickly, and my client rededicated his company to his core business.

Innovation and expansion are important virtues in business. But you can quickly get into trouble if you attempt to jump into markets you know nothing about. Before you take the leap, ask yourself what you know about a new market — and what you don’t know.

Should you go for it — or stick to your knitting? Give it careful thought.

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“But wait!” Save something to use as a sale closer

We’ve all seen the direct marketing TV ads that end up with “But wait!” and then go on to pitch something that makes the offer even more attractive:  “Call now, and we’ll double your order at no additional charge,” “Order right now and we’ll include year’s supply of filters with your Handi-Vac…”

You can use the same strategy in your face-to-face sales pitch. Make a solid case for your product, and when your prospect sends signals that he/she is getting ready to buy, then reveal an added value or premium that makes your deal even more appealing:  “One more thing, when you buy this laser printer, we’ll include three cartridges — free. That’s a $250 value, at no cost to you.”

If your prospect had any reservations about buying, they’re gone now. The deal is even better than he thought.

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