6,200 Words Plus now for my Small Business Marketing Book! Yay, I am so happy and hope you enjoy these tips! Thank you from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Hopefully Author one Day!
7. Develop a Sense of Ethics and a Long-Term View
When I first started my business, some of my peers were certainly quite shady. Even though I have been in the Senior / Corporate Marketing Manager jobs for at least a good decade, the whole “Consultant” and “Small Business Thing” was a totally new scene for me.
I did some additional Small Business and Entrepreneurship studies at this Private Life Coaching College. Technically they were very good and I learnt some great skills, but there was a Reaper in the shadows with the experience too.
I felt they were quite forceful with their selling to students, always pushing their range of products – unfortunately for me to observe in many occasions people buying items beyond their means and ability to effectively grasp and derive commercial benefit from them. It was quite a polarized experience in that respect. In some ways they were wonderful and I give them part credit to my success, but then this other side tended to come out.
They taught me great skills and the college itself (and many of its students at the time) were very critical at my “Selling” or perhaps the “Lack of It” by their extreme definition. They were heavily into the whole “Selling from Stage Thing”, charging quite large prices from early days, sticking people into 12 months contracts, hard-selling and would always promote “Fake till you make it” as their common business zeitgeist.
I never liked this from day one and as I was part of the 4Networking UK / Australia Business Community early on I loved their sense of Friendship based Business Values. It was all based on relationships whereas the Life Coaching College were extremely Transactional in their approach (as they get lots of money from each student, but have very poor Word of Mouth in my experience). I decided to do the opposite and I had NO Contracts, charged what I felt was reasonable prices in line with my experience at the time, never hard-sold and let people purchase in their own time.
What was interested was my “Hard-Selling” peers quite often made more money than me for the first say 3 – 6 months. They would go in there and promise the world, get people to sign massive contracts, charge what I felt to be totally unreasonable rates (in line with their experience levels) and to make it even worse – quite often they would exaggerate their experience.
Take a wild guess what would happen about 3 – 6 months later? Their clients would hate them and do either two things, 1) Rip up their contracts, 2) Serve it out but be kicking and screaming all the way. Quite often 6 – 12 months later these so called “Coaches” would be over-weight, stressed out and often back at work Full-Time blaming someone else for their own failure.
I am a man to praise success, however watching those “People” fail was a good thing in that I felt they deserved to fail. They did the wrong thing from day one and they got what was coming to them. This great experience really got me thinking and justified even more my own Ethical Standards and Viewpoint. Sure, I made less money at the start – but I survived in the end, with heaps of great word of mouth and a great stream of referrals coming my way organically. This experience leads me to propose:
Crazy Persian’s Small Business Marketing Tip #7:
“Do the Right Thing. People have memories and are watching you closely!”
To this day I remember my early experiences and the importance of transparency, trust and ethics in any sort of Business, especially the Small Business type of space. My advice is to anyone, if you find a way to make money the “Wrong Way” – stop and find a way to make money the “Right Way”. I know plenty of Self-Made Millionaires who did it the awesome way.
Awesome People love Awesome People after all!