Article #7 of the 12 Ps Series. Read #6 on “Your Step-by-Step Marketing Plan.”
One of my favorite metaphors for successful marketing is putting on a play, let’s say Hamlet.
OK, you land the part of Hamlet. Congratulations. So, what do you do next?
You get a copy of the script and start to memorize your lines.
And then you practice, practice, practice, practice (also known as rehearsing).
The play Hamlet has 1569 lines – just for the character Hamlet!
That’s a lot of lines and it takes hours and hours of practice to not only memorize them but to infuse these lines with the character of Hamlet.
But here’s what I’ve noticed when it comes to independent professionals and practicing:
Most barely practice at all.
And if you do, you’re the exception.
“What is there to practice?” you ask, “After all, I’m not in Hamlet!”
You practice conversations of all kinds:
Conversations using your marketing message.
Conversations asking prospective clients questions.
Conversations explaining the value of your services.
Conversations delivering a presentation or webinar.
Conversations to explore working with someone.
Conversations answering questions and objections.
Conversations to close the deal.
You might call all of these “persuasion conversations” where you are communicating the value of your services.
Some people call this selling. But I hate that word.
It has associations with pressure and manipulation.
People want to be natural when talking about their business.
But they often sacrifice clear, powerful communication for “being natural.”
What do you think would happen to an actor who said, “I have a basic idea of what Hamlet is saying, but I want to be natural in delivering my lines. So, I’m going to improvise them!”
Well, they would be an unemployed actor!
Actors memorize their lines perfectly and then infuse them with their presence until they sound perfectly natural.
Thing is, conversations about your business can be even more challenging than Hamlet.
First of all, you don’t have a pre-written script.
You need to write out what you are going to say in the various conversations about your business.
Then you must practice those conversations out loud.
Not a bad idea to record yourself until you come across as naturally as possible.
And then, unlike Hamlet, you also need to improvise, as your conversations are interactive.
The bad news for most people is that this doesn’t come naturally or easily.
So, they just wing it, with very little practice.
I just read that someone who memorized Hamlet took 2 hours a day for two years. That’s close to 1500 hours!
Luckily, mastering the conversations about your business won’t take nearly that long.
But if you want to have conversations about your business that result in new, paying clients, practice is absolutely essential.
And if you want to consistently attract clients, there is no real alternative.
What do you call an independent professional who doesn’t practice their conversations?
“Someone without a lot of clients!”