Seth Godin is an amazing thinker and writer, but even the great ones over simplify things just a bit. They do this for a very good reason…the idea is more likely to stick in our heads.
I’ve been thinking about marketing dips lately because I had a client change her mind about a project before it even got off the ground. I put a lot of research time in and was all set to go when she said that she didn’t need my help after all.
I was devastated. It took me a week to recover psychologically.
I kept telling myself that I was doing work during that week, “researching”, but really I was avoiding work because my confidence took a hit. Logically, I know that it wasn’t my fault that my client changed her mind, but it still felt that way.
As I grow this business and help business owners improve their customer conversion rate, I’ve come to appreciate the ups and downs.
The Dip Effect
The “dip” is what Seth Godin likes to call the down times.
As you look at the graphic above which is based on the cover to Seth’s book, you see the first initial success in your business, then you encounter the dip of failure, and then it’s an upward climb to success.
This is a great image because it really helps people see how any project feels great in the beginning, but sticking through the dip is very hard.
In reality, the dip is filled with lots of little and big dips. Sometimes a little dip is preceded by a big dip, and it feels like your whole world is crashing down in front of you.
The Real Dip Effect
I created the image below to give you a few examples of what I’ve gone through over the past year.
I’ve been thinking about this process because of the big client that didn’t materialize. I thought that I was on a faster track. The reality is that this was bound to happen.
Every company has to prove itself again and again. Even established companies still have to prove themselves.
Take a look at what you’ve been through over the past couple years. If you are an established company, the dips probably still happen on a monthly basis. You are more stable, but still struggle with growing pains.
There is no big climb that “gets you over the mountain top” and allows you to rest. With success brings larger dips. Business is not about fighting through a big initial dip, it’s about using every little dip as a chance to improve.
Connecting with your “ideal customers” (aka marketing) is an ongoing journey that never stops. Don’t think that once you are on top that you’ll be able to coast after that. This coasting has gotten many companies in trouble. They think they have their system down pat, which they might for the current market. But undoubtedly at some time your business and your market will start shifting, creating new dips to learn from.
By viewing this as an opportunity for growth instead of fearing the repercussions you can actually grow your sales.
How do you cultivate a growth mindset when you in the bottom of a dip?
We all experience the high of starting something new then we come back to earth (bottom of dip) then we have to fight to get to the top. It’s this hard work that separates people with helpful networks and people who have weak networks. You don’t need me to explain how important a helpful network is to your business/career.
As you work toward reaching your connection goals. Your top goal may be to simply connect with 3 decision makers this week. Good goal, but not very specific.
3 Questions You Must Ask Yourself
The more specific you can make it the more likely it will happen. Start with the end and work your way back.
- How do you want to feel after you make a connection? (Result)
- How can I make this connection happen? (What is your plan?)
- Why do I want to make this connection a reality? (Motivation)
Remember when you bring value to your connection you increase your response rate. So try giving something to the person you want to connect with. Offer your expertise, share an article that can help them in their business/career, buy them lunch, hand written note, whatever it takes to spark a connection. If they ignore you at first, just come back next week with even more value and you’ll get their attention.
What dip have you had to go through in the past year and what was the impact on your business? (Please share in the comment section. No one is alone in how they figure out how to connect with their ideal customers. It’s an ongoing process.)
* First image is courtesy of Leadershipnow