Imagine this scenario: You’re a salesperson and you walk into a business for the first time to make a sale. You’re shown into the office of the big boss. Just as you start to launch into your pitch, she interrupts you and says:

“I don’t know who you are. 

I don’t know your company. 

I don’t know your company’s products. 

I don’t know your company stands for. 

I don’t know your company’s customers.

I don’t know your company’s reputation.”

Then, she stops, look you in the eye and says: “Now what was it you wanted to sell me?”

Wow. Do you think you’re going to make the sale on this trip?

The fact is the sales process starts well before your salesperson walks in the door or before the customer ever walks through your door. If they don’t know who you are, what you do, and where you are, is it any wonder people don’t come to your place or call you up to do business?

Before you can make a sale, you’ve got to get people in the tent. Before you do that, they’ve got to know about you, what you offer, and what makes your business different.

mousetrap

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door,” Ralph Waldo Emerson said in the 19th Century. Maybe that worked then, but I’m not so sure. Now, there are tons of better mousetraps, but if nobody knows about them, they won’t sell.

You have to invite people to do business with you. It’s true whether you have been around forever or are new to the marketplace. And you have to do it consistently. You have to continue to invite people to do business with you.

Think about this: people are getting thousands of invitations every day, including invitations for your competitors.

seedling

The more you invite people to your business, the more you help create awareness. What you’re really trying to do is plant that little seed in their minds. Over time, it will take root – nurtured by constant reinforcement – and grow into recognition. Then, when people are finally in the market to buy something, they’ve already got you on their minds (or if you buy the cheesy seed analogy, in their minds).