QUESTION: Mike, I have followed you for years and love your marketing techniques. They have worked and got me some great assignments that I have filled. That being said, I procrastinate marketing even when I know it works. Can you help me with that? – Alex, Chicago
ANSWER: You are not alone. Marketing is probably the biggest thing, Alex, I see, including myself, that I procrastinate on or I hear about procrastination.
When I see the term procrastination, I am reading between the lines and I am going to make some assumptions based on coaching I have done with other people in similar situations.
Procrastination is usually some form of fear, trigger-based. When you begin to procrastinate, think about the last time you sat down to market. Maybe it was this morning, maybe it was yesterday. There was something that came up under marketing where you had a belief, and I would ask you to explore what that is.
What were the thoughts when you sat down, around marketing? Generally, when I ask that question people have said to me:
I do not want to bother someone.
What if I say the wrong thing?
I do not want to just leave voicemails that do not get returned.
These are all negative or limiting beliefs. This is what our mindset coach, Frances Walker, calls a belief feedback loop. So the limiting belief could be, I might say the wrong thing. The feeling is stress and anxiety, maybe a little bit of overwhelm of having to say the right thing. The action many times is the inaction, meaning I do not do anything. The result is I do not get any new openings, which reinforces the belief that I might say the wrong thing because I am not getting new openings.
Based on your question alone, we have evidence that you got good results and you have made placements when you have marketed. If your limiting belief is I might say the wrong thing, I would just challenge you to say, When I do marketing, I usually the right thing. Because for people to give you openings, you have to say the right things or ask the right questions.
In marketing my new belief is I ask great questions and I uncover their needs and I help them. The feeling that should generate should be excited, eager to help. The action would be you would start talking to people.
When we take action we know we are going to get results, and in this economy anywhere between 5 and 15 conversations is going to result in an assignment. These are the results that are going to reinforce your new belief that you are helping people and that marketing is fun.
Another strategy you can take is to shift your focus to the great calls you had, even when you did not get a search. We all had those calls when you get off the phone and you go, “That was great. I talked to Mary and she told me to call her back in October when she will have a couple of openings. We hit it off.”
Load into your mental database the memory of those phone calls. I would even start documenting them. Because whatever you focus on you will go after. If you are focused on all the bad results you have had on the call, like I said, bad in our industry is okay, we got a voicemail or we got a no, not now. But focus on all the calls that went well.
You can duplicate this process with anything that is fear-based, and by that, I mean fear of growing your business, fear of investing in yourself.
We tend to focus on the things that get us disengaged versus the things that get us engaged. Another mentor taught me this years ago. He said: A lot of people when they struggle in their business, they focus on all the things that are wrong with their business, and they attract and become aware of the things that are wrong and attract more of it into their business.
You know this is true. If you ever wanted to lose weight and you gained weight, because you are focused on losing weight, you are focused on the word weight and you attract more weight.
So what are those aspects of your business that are great? What are the things that you know you are already skilled at that you are probably not leveraging enough of? Start documenting those. Write them down because your brain needs that as evidence.