Monday, May 1, 2017

"There Are No Shortcuts To Business Success"

Shortcuts are nice to find and use when they work. The trouble is that they don't really work in business. Oh, we might get a temporary advantage and feel good for the moment that we "beat the system," but nothing of long-term benefit is gained without putting in our dues and doing the work.

In a way, it's human nature to want to shortcuts or to find an easy way to do something. Who doesn't want to find a quicker or shorter way to do something?Rather than read a novel for English class, we get the summary notes version. It may work, it may not. Instead of taking the Interstate from point A to point B, we take a side route, which on paper is shorter. Then there is traffic, road conditions, and other variables which make it turns out to be not such a good idea and actually lengthens the time to make it. It could work and save us time, but it just as easily could add time to the trip and make us nervous along the way as we are watching the minutes tick by.

Weight loss is an area where we want to takes diet pills, eat foods that will magically takes the pounds off, or wear devices that will massage away the pounds - all without modifying our behavior or doing anything differently. The same with exercise. We want to look healthier, develop more muscle mass, look toned, and be stronger, yet we don't want to wait for the exercise or weight lifting to work. We want instant results or some way of getting the benefit without putting in all of the effort.

When it comes to marketing our aging in place services, we might hope that we can take some shortcuts to success, but there is no practical way to skip a few rungs on that ladder. We can send out a few direct mail pieces to an area we have carefully targeted (that in itself shows a little discipline instead of just sending it to a broad area), and we expect that our inbox is going to begin filling up almost immediately. Since we have selected people hat supposedly have the right income, age of home, or age themselves to need and use our services, the response should be overwhelming.

The thing about direct mail, even with a very select targeted group of recipients, is that only a small percentage of people ever respond - regardless of what the product or service, or the offer or promotion is.

We have a website that is beautifully designed - or an attractive landing or squeeze page - and we feel that people that will be attracted to our page and be convinced to leave their contact information for us to follow-up with them. We might try page-per-click ads also.

It's not that these types of marketing efforts are ill-advised. Expecting them to generate large scale and rather instant results is be unrealistic, however. This is where the shortcut scenario comes into play. We think that a little work done in the right places will generate business in a way that ill save us hours of networking and looking for new business through more conventional ways.

There just is no substitute for putting in the hours and paying our dues. We earn success through our efforts. It's not something we can hope for, sign up for, or have bestowed upon us just because we want it to happen.

Once we identify people that want to work with us, we have to be willing too put in the time and effort to develop them into a paying client or customer and then to carry it through to completion. Making the sale is just the first step - a very important one - but completing the work to the client's satisfaction is more important. Then, we will be in a position to secure referrals, making it easier to attract some people who have already heard good things about us.

Make no mistake. Referrals aren't shortcuts. They only come after devoting time and effort to successfully completing projects for others.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn