Sprats and Prats!
I thought in this Blog posting I would share some of the frustrations that we all must feel when running and Building a Business, the problem of the Sprats and Prats!
What do I mean by Sprats and Prats? Well, especially if you are growing a new business, or a new area of your business, often at the beginning and the early stages you get lots of people who ...well waste your time.
Either they are looking for something for nothing, or if you can get any money out of them, its like catching sprats when fishing, small, minuscule and below your true value leading you to think was it really worth it?
As you move around the Networking circuits you especially come across the Sprats and Prats. There are many people in business who are not really running a business let alone growing it, but boy do they love to take up your time, attention and energy!
At first they seem a likely prospect usually commending you on your elevator pitch and asking some probing questions. You think you have a catch and then they start to tell you about their business woes and needs. Very quickly you realise there is little to no sale achievable with these people, Sprats, and then you quickly realise they have taken up your time and energy which could have been directed at a better prospect in the room, and then the Prat syndrome kicks in. Hopefully you don't verbalise your inner thoughts - a bit of self control is in order in this situation!
So how can you deal with fishing in a lake and only catching Sprats, and how can you avoid the Prats that come through this process?
Here are three things which I have implemented recently and found new and better quality prospects as a result:
1) Go fish somewhere else! Seems too easy but very necessary. If you find the networks you go to are breeding sprats and prats for your business, then find new networking events, they are springing up weekly. If you find your mailing list is not producing a response even though you have worked on your message, your call to action and still no response, then get a new mailing list. Plenty of fresh business contacts available through data houses so long as you are clear on what your target markets are.
2) Make it clear in your pitch, your materials, your correspondence what your price is for your goods, products or services. That way, those not wanting to invest in their business will not approach you, and therefore will not waste your time, which now you have free to pursue those who really want to buy what you have to sell. Alongside this, review your pricing strategy, raise your prices - and those who want quality, substance and results will invest, those who don't can go bother someone else!
3) Pick up the old dog and bone rather than relying solely on e-mail and social media. People don't have time now to always engage fully with social media when you need them to, and e-mails fill up your inbox to the extent that people often become immune to the best subject line ever and still wont open that email. If you want to know if someone is really interested in what you have to sell, then cut to the chase, pick up the phone and make that call. If its a No, then on to the next as you will get that Yes! In the meantime your productivity will increase and your sprats and prats will decrease!
I hope this has been of value to you, and enables you to take control of your time, manage your resources better and continue to Build Your Business!