Entrepreneurial invisibility

Many businesses and professional practices struggle, not because they aren’t good at their chosen profession, but because they’re essentially invisible to their target market. They may be great at what they do, but they’re not yet great at attracting, qualifying and converting enough high quality prospects into clients. So the problem isn’t competence, it’s entrepreneurial invisibility.

David:                   Hi, and welcome to the podcast today co-host Chris Templeton, and I will be discussing the fact that many businesses are essentially invisible to their ideal target markets. Welcome Chris.

Chris:                     Hi David. Entrepreneurial invisibility. I have never heard it phrased that way, but it makes a whole a lot of sense. You know, in the movies invisibility is like this superpower, but it’s not really an advantage in business, is it?

David:                   Not so much. No. When you’re suffering from entrepreneurial invisibility, it means that the people who could most and best take advantage of what you offer, just don’t even know you’re there. They don’t even know you’re alive. So in Harry Potter, if you’ve got an invisibility cloak, it’s an advantage because you can sort of sneak around and find out what’s going on and people don’t know you’re there. But if you’re in a market and you’ve got an invisibility cloak on and people don’t know you’re there, it just means they’re going to buy from someone else.

Chris:                     But isn’t it kind of an overstatement? I mean, most businesses really aren’t that invisible are they?

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David:                   I don't think it's an overstatement at all. Actually, I have seen over the years that many businesses are invisible to the people who matter most to them. Now, if they've got a client base, then obviously they're not invisible to those people; but if there are people in their market who could conceivably buy from them who don't know who they are, don't know what they do, have never been approached, I've never heard about them, doesn't recognize their authority in the marketplace… Then yeah, they are essentially invisible to those people.  Most businesses that I talk to, they feel like they want to be able to attract more clients, they want to be able to bring in new prospects, they want to be able to convert more of the people they're already talking to. And a lot of that frustration stems from the fact that people are not seeing them, they're not seeing them for what they are. They're not seeing them for what they can do. And once again, if they can't see you, you're invisible.

Chris:                     Well then, the only solution is a website. Right, David?

David:                   We’re going to go back to that?  Talking in the last three podcasts on how websites are not the cure for everything!

Chris:                     Not the cure for everything!  So you know, what do you think it is that is so common? Cause it is common in business, isn't it? This invisibility and this, I want to say it's almost a resistance to doing the things that create the visibility that we all want as business owners.

David:                   Yeah, well a lot of people just don't even really think about it. I mean they don't think about the fact that they are invisible to the people that they really need to be visible to. That's probably not perfect English, but you get the point.

Chris:                     Yeah.

David:                   There are a lot of people in their market who just don't know who they are, and they've never really thought about fixing that situation. And one of the reasons that I titled this the way that I did, is that I want people to recognize that if you are in fact invisible to the people who could buy from you, then you're at a distinct disadvantage because they just have no opportunity to make that happen. So recognizing that it's the case, there are people who could buy from you but they can't because they don't know who you are. That's certainly the first step. And then adapting your approach, changing your approach so that you can take off the invisibility cloak and start being visible to the people who need to know you're there.

Chris:                     So what does that look like? I mean, what do you think that we can do to help businesses to get to that place?

David:                   Well, we're going to be hitting very specific action steps as we get toward the end of the podcast where we will give them a roadmap for that. But I mean the short version of it is that they're going to need to start thinking in terms of: who they need to approach, how they need to approach them, what they need to say, how they're going to say it, and how they're going to communicate it. So becoming visible to your prospects and clients, it's going to also involve identifying who those people are. And so, I mean, there are a number of steps to it, but we will get to all of that.

Chris:                     So, do you think that if I'm a business owner who's invisible to my clients, is it fair to say that most competitors are somewhat invisible to theirs?

David:                   Yeah, some are. Maybe not all. Some are going to be visible to different segments of the market. So when you run into a situation where you approach a new prospect and they say, “I already have someone I'm dealing with.” In that situation, you were invisible to them previously, the person that they're interacting with was visible to them because they're interacting with them. And what you'll find is that if you're going into a market and you're running into the same competitor over and over and over again and people are saying, I do business with this particular company or this particular person, then that person has visibility in the market that you don't have. If you're going around from business to business, or person to person and you're finding out that there are lots of different people that they're doing business with. No, I'm doing business with this person or I'm doing business with that person. Then there are lots of different people who are visible in the marketplace and so what you want to ask yourself is: How do I become visible to the most important people, the people that I determined are most important in this market? How do I create that visibility and how do I maintain it?

Chris:                     And it goes back to that idea of; am I asking the solution oriented question? If I'm asking,  "Why am I not more visible?", that's probably not the way we want to go cause it's so much more problem oriented. But when you say, "How do I become more visible?" Now I'm opening myself up to the thinking that I need in order to begin to solve that. Isn't that true?

David:                   Yes. And also who do I need to be visible to? Who are the people that I need to create that visibility with? So when you start asking those types of questions and when you start putting together processes and systems that are designed to make you more visible to the people who can spend money with you, then of course it's going to start to happen.

Chris:                     So when you look at this, is your sense that what a business just to do is spend a lot of money to be visible to the very best prospects?

David:                   Not necessarily. And I would say in most cases the answer is no. Many businesses probably spend too much money creating not enough awareness and remaining invisible to too many people. John Wanamaker had a famous quote. He said, “I am convinced that half of my advertising is wasted. Trouble is I don't know which half.” And most of us in business have dealt with some version of that or other.  In fact, I would argue that John Wanamaker was an optimist because in a lot of cases, if you're spending money on advertising, 90% of it could be wasted or 95% could be wasted. If you put something out and it reaches a hundred people and three people respond, that means 97% of it was wasted. But you're doing it for the 3% that responded. And so we need to look at all of that and say, you know, "What am I doing? How am I doing it? Who am I approaching? What am I approaching them with?" And it all starts there.

Chris:                     And you know, in today's day and age, it's so easy to measure these things, to have a landing page for each specific ad, where you can see what your dollars are versus what your impressions are. The people that actually filled out a form or whatever the next step in the sales process was. I think a lot of businesses just don't even understand how easy these things are to do.

David:                   Right, and how it does make it more cost effective. When you're talking about the expense of this thing, it's really less expensive when you do it the right way essentially. And within each market there's always a subset of the market. There's a subset of people who are worth more than the others in the market, and I generally refer to this as a sub market in our Total Market Domination course within every single market, whether it's a geographic market, whether it's an industrial market, a niche, whatever it is. Within each market there is a subset or a sub market, it is going to be the most profitable and it's less expensive when you're able to target fewer people who have a higher ability to spend money with you than it is if you're trying to reach everybody, and that's a big mistake that people make. When you get good at identifying, targeting, qualifying, and converting those people, that subset of the very best prospects, it is really cost effective because you're no longer wasting time on low dollar, poor quality prospects.

Chris:                     And I just, you know, I go back to this whole idea of people being stuck, people feeling invisible and in some sense creating that for themselves. And yet the things that we're talking about, they're not rocket science, are they?

David:                   No, they're really not. It's not rocket science, but it is science in a lot of ways. It's about being very strategic about accomplishing a specific result, creating awareness among exactly the core group of prospects and clients that you want to have.

Chris:                     And taking the time to do it. Give us an example of somebody that you've worked with that was really lost and how you were able to move them in the right direction.

David:                   You know, you don't even really have to be all that lost Chris. I mean, a lot of people focus on the essentials of sales, prospecting, presenting, following up, this is what I'm doing all day. I'm prospecting, I'm presenting and I'm following up. And anyone who's ever been involved in sales or business for any length of time recognizes that those three functions need to be done. But those that don't take the time to examine the how of it; how can I do this more effectively? How can I prospect better? How can I prospect more efficiently, more effectively, more inexpensively? How can I prospect to a better quality of prospect and client? And it all sort of lines up with the whole idea of the 80/20 rule. If you can lead with the sharp edge of the knife as it were and you're going after exactly the right people within the market that you're targeting with exactly the right messaging and you're following up consistently, that's going to create far better results than what most people are doing. So getting back to the idea of people who are having issues, a lot of it is just that, they're doing the same thing again and again. They've been brainwashed, they've been told that sales is a numbers game. And I know we've had this conversation before. It is a numbers game, but it's a smart numbers game. It's not about see a hundred more unqualified prospects. Maybe it's more about, let's see a dozen really qualified prospects and see if we can get three or four of them to buy from me over the course of the next two to three weeks, you know, that would be great. Or even if it's two to three months, at least I know that they're in the pipeline, so it's smart, it's focused, it's targeted. It's not about trying to be all things to all people. It's not about trying to spend a whole lot of money to be in front of everyone. It's about doing less and getting more as opposed to doing more and getting less.

Chris:                     You know it's so simple to say David and without the help of somebody like you and what you do at topsecrets.com we're going to have people that just get stuck in this, aren't we?

David:                   Yes. Because most people don't know how to do it differently. And the problem in some cases, Chris, is that the normal approach, prospecting, presenting, and following up works, you know it works okay. It can create okay results, but it doesn't usually create exceptional results. And the people that I work with are not okay with okay results. They're looking for something better. They're looking to be cutting edge, leading edge to be able to interact with the types of clients they actually want to have. They don't want to just deal with anyone. They don't want to interact with clients who are going to spend a small amount of money with them once and then disappear forever. They want to find people who are going to essentially represent an annuity to them, somebody who's going to invest with them again and again and again because they're providing value to that person again and again and again. They're looking to develop relationships where they're helping their clients so that their clients just love them and want to keep coming back

Chris:                     And you know when look at it, I go back to our previous podcast, the Catch 22 of Inaction or as we re-titled it ‘Delegating to Reactivity’.  Sometimes the help that you can bring, I would say most of the time is just that little bit that we need to move from that place of being stuck, feeling stuck, feeling invisible to really focusing on, like you said, the ideal client and being able to really work with them on a regular basis. And I think it's so easy to say, so hard to do it on your own and knowing that there are people like you out there that can help to get that business there. And it's a big difference, isn't it?

David:                   It really is. And I was having a conversation today with a CEO of a company that does about a million and a half to two million dollars a year. And we were having a conversation, he was participating in the Total Market Domination course and it wasn't quite doing what he thought it was going to be doing in terms of some of his salespeople. And he was like, "Well, this isn't doing what I needed to do". And I'm like, "Well, what do you need to do?" And he started to tell me what he was looking to accomplish. And I'm like, "Okay, well here's what we'll do. We'll just do this, this and this." And he's like, "What? You can do that?" And I'm like, "Yes! Of course we can do that!" You know, it's not a matter of, okay, go through the course and whatever you get, you get. The whole idea is that when somebody works with us, we're in it together. The whole goal is to get them the result that they're after. Now, if it's something that we can't help with, if it's something we can't do, then I'd say, "Well, I can't help you with that. We can't do it." You know, here, take your money back. But if it's a situation where we can help, then we're going to help. And so the conversation, it was just such a great conversation because he's like, this is great. So he was all fired up about going through those modules. Are you sort of hesitant? He didn't really want to go through the models because he was afraid it wasn't accomplishing his results. So once I said, "Okay, here's what we're going to do, this will accomplish your results. Now you can go through the models." He's like, "This is awesome!" Now he was really focused on wanting to do it again because he knew he was going to be able to fire on multiple thrusters. He was going to be able to pursue what he needed to pursue and we were going to be able to get information in front of his salespeople who also needed help so that they could accomplish what they needed to accomplish. It's all about creating situations where it's a win-win. If you're not creating value for your clients, you shouldn't be in business. If you can create value, then you figure out how to do it and you make it happen

Chris:                     And one of the best ways to do that is have a sales force that's really firing on all cylinders, isn't it?

David:                   Well, it sure helps!

Chris:                     Yeah. Okay. Let's talk about the action steps for our listeners and what they should do if they want to start becoming more visible.

Four Action Steps for Becoming More Visible

  1. Get clear on the high value prospects you need to reach. It's better to have a smaller group of good prospects, than a larger group of poor quality prospects.
  2. Determine what your First Contact will be. Make the decision based on your personal strengths and objectives. What do you want to happen? What types of clients do you want? What sort of first contact will be comfortable and effective for you?
  3. Create awareness that you exist. Start by letting prospects know you're alive. After you've done that, qualify them to find out if and how you can help them.
  4. Stay in touch until they disqualify themselves or become clients.

David:                   All right, well, first thing is to get really clear on the high value prospects that you need to reach. It is far better to have a smaller group of good prospects than a larger group of poor quality or average quality prospects. Second thing, determine what your first contact is going to be with these people based on your personal strengths and your objectives. What do you want to have happen? What types of clients do you want to have? What sort of first contact is going to be comfortable for you? How do I want to reach them in a way that's going to be positive and memorable, as we talked about in a previous podcast. Third, focus first on creating awareness that you exist, right? Just let them know that you exist. We've got to get beyond the invisibility thing, so we're going to take off the invisibility cloak. Hey look, I'm here and then once you're there, then you want to find out if and how you can help them. So it's not about, Hey, here I am. Here's what I do. It's about, Here I am. Tell me about what you're looking to do. What do you need to accomplish? Let me see if I can help you accomplish it. If I can, we'll work together. If I can't, we won't. Either way, we'll have a great discussion.  And then Forth, stay in touch with them until they either disqualify themselves or they become clients because one of those two things is likely to happen. Now, if they just ghost you, if they just disappear, let them go. That's what I would say. Let them. Now I'm not saying if it takes long between responses, but if somebody just stops responding to you, I'm inclined to say, let's find somebody who is ready to accomplish results now.

Chris:                     Makes so much sense and you guys can help. One of the things that everybody should know is if you want to understand what it's like to have a call with David or his team, you can go to topsecrets.com/call and will get all kinds of value out of that, regardless of what the next step is. Okay, great podcast. Thank you so much. See you next time.

David:                   Thanks Chris.

If you're tired of flat or declining sales and losing business to your competitors, be sure to check out my latest web presentation entitled Programming Clients to Choose You. Who are your very best prospects currently programmed to buy from? Is it you or someone else? If you want it to be, you, visit topsecrets.com/choose and register for the free presentation now. That's topsecrets.com/choose.

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