The road to entrepreneurship isn’t easy. Like most people, I made many mistakes along the way. While some see this as a failure, this is how you grow as a person. Learning from these miscues and making the necessary adjustments is how you become better. It’s from those mistakes you discover what not to do and success is achieved.
One mistake I see many new entrepreneurs make is the expectation that all their family and friends will support them. They believe everyone will be excited about their business and line up, ready to spend their hard-earned money to support them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. You will have some who support you, but the vast majority probably won’t. As a result, they are disappointed because they feel their loved ones aren’t supporting them like they should.
This is something many new entrepreneurs have felt and experienced (I know I did). My first book didn’t receive the overflow of support (and sales) that I expected.
For most people, their next thought is wondering how do they convince their associates to buy their product or service?
You don’t. This a waste of time and energy. A better use of your time and energy is to focus on shifting your mindset instead.
It’s A Numbers Game
When I was a financial advisor many years ago, our job was to cold-call. We literally had a phone book or directory on our desk, and used it to call total strangers. We started on the first page and went name by name, phone number by phone number, asking them if they wanted to buy stocks. From 8am to 8pm, that’s all we did: cold call. Every single day, six days per week.
Cold calling was very challenging for me. I didn’t enjoy getting hung up on or the angry responses. I got tired of them saying “how did you get my number? Don’t ever call me again!” It was very difficult, but we had to do it.
However, there was one thing all the senior brokers kept telling us that stuck with me, even to this day:
“It’s a numbers game. The more people you talk to, the more sales you will get.”
It didn’t take long for me to realize this was true: the guys who were ALWAYS on the phone, smiling and dialing, got the most leads, and eventually the most clients. The guys who played around or made excuses to do everything BUT make calls had poor results. They also didn’t last long in the business.
This numbers game philosophy applies to practically every type of business. Let’s use a vending machine for example. Let’s say we take 2 vending machines stocked with identical products of the top snacks and sodas. One is placed in a busy laundromat that’s always crowded, while the other is placed in a small office that has 10 employees. Which do you think would sell out quicker?
I also saw this theory first hand while selling books and merchandise as a vendor at various events. I made the most sales when there were large crowds as opposed to smaller events with little foot traffic. My sales pitch was the same, and so were my products.
What was the difference? Volume:
The more people who came to my table, the more people I was able to talk to, and books and products I was able to sell. It was just that simple.
The 1% Rule
An easy way to look at volume is by using the 1% rule: Just one percent of the people who view your product or service will become actual buyers. This can be considered a low number, but it forces you to think bigger, and increase the number of people who see what you have to offer.
This chart clearly illustrates the 1% rule:
|# Of People Who See Your Product||People Who Buy (1%)||Price per Product:|
$5.00 (Total Sales)
|Price Per Product|
$25.00 (Total Sales)
As you can see, the more people who see your product, the more sales you can make. Even just a 1% sales success rate can yield great results. The key is volume.
Reaching 1 Million People?
Some people may be intimidated at the thought of reaching one million people, but it may not be as difficult as you think. Thanks to the internet, you have the ability to reach billions of people around the world, 24 hours a day, days a week. The beauty of using the internet is you can create the content and people are able to view it months or even years after it was created. You’re not actively talking to all these people at one time, you’re using the power of the internet as leverage.
As you go about your daily activities, take a look at the people around you: they are all on their cell phones or tablets. what are they looking at? Why can’t they be on your website or viewing your products on sites like Amazon or eBay? Thanks to the internet, you can be sleeping, eating dinner, on an airplane, helping the kids with their homework or on vacation, and still “pitch” to millions of people the benefits of your goods or services.
Here are some of the top ways to reach 1 million potential customers:
Online advertising. Place ads on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Amazon. Make the ads appealing to grab people’s attention. If marketing isn’t your thing, pay someone to do it for you.
Create a blog or website. Showcase your products and services on your blog, website or podcast. Add new content several times a week to keep people engaged and coming back for more. Also, a site that’s updated on a consistent basis could increase your number of views and organic traffic. This post has more great info on boosting traffic.
Use your email lists. Send mass emails to your existing customers and contacts. I receive emails from some people daily. Some may not want to receive an email from you daily, but one or two emails per week touting sales or new products and services could help you reach your goal of reaching one million people.
Create videos. A 30 second Super Bowl commercial in 2020 cost $5.6 million dollars. Why so expensive? Because of the huge number of viewers who would see the advertisement. You may not be able to afford a Super Bowl ad, but you can create videos for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikToc or LinkedIn on a low or nonexistent budget. Videos are a great way to reach millions of people and tell them about your products or services, day and night.
Putting It All Together
These is just a few ways to reach one million people. The key is to be creative. Determine what your strengths are and use them to your advantage. For some, paying for advertising is their best chance at reaching the desired one million. Others are able to reach their target numbers due to popularity and sheer number of followers they have. Using this approach helps to lessen the sting of rejection and make it more about reaching the total number of people reached. One percent sales is a very low conversion rate, but by working smart and thinking outside the box, that number can increase, as well as the number of people who see your products and services.
Success is a state of mind. Change your mindset and you can change your life. Pick up a copy of my book Success Principles 101: A Step By Step Guide on Setting and Achieving Goals. Available in eBook, paperback and audible formats on Amazon.
Teaching our children about business and entrepreneurship should be a priority as well. Pick up a copy of my book Planting Seeds: The Children’s Guide to Entrepreneurship today. The more tools we can provide for our children, the better prepared they will be as adults.