Tips and tricks for business success and growth
By Rama Beerfas
March 30, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – I know a few business owners and sales people out there who seem to be addicted to the "expert" marketing or sales guru. They have made almost a religion out of following several different coaches or consultants through personal interaction and/or seminar attendance and/or reading of their books. Every piece of advice these experts dole out is absorbed like a sponge. While I applaud the enthusiasm behind this adulation, I have to wonder if these businesspeople are getting any positive benefit out of this approach. It seems to me that this is another case of too many cooks spoil the broth syndrome.
I believe that having a mentor, or someone whose opinion you respect and follow, is a wonderful thing to have in your life, whether for business or personal enhancement. By the same token, I don't believe that any one person should blindly follow the advice of any one person. Not everything that is put out there by someone you admire is right for you. When you add the advice of multiple people in the same arena, it usually only leads to confusion and lack of clarity.
A mentor, whether it's a personal relationship or an "I read your books, follow your blog and, your seminars and would kiss your ring if I could get close enough" type of relationship should be someone whose example you wish to emulate in some way. That being said, the way they got there should also be in sync with your thoughts, beliefs and ability to take action. If you wouldn't be willing or able to follow their advice and, more importantly, their actual example (walk the talk, but also walk the walk), they should not be your chosen mentor. For example, although many people would like to emulate Donald Trump's success, I personally have a problem with the fact that he says he doesn't drink because he lost his brother to alcoholism but he was more than happy to try to make money off a Trump branded vodka. (The product never was a success, by the way.)
For those who believe that anyone who is successful is automatically a good candidate for mentor, remember that some of these people will have different approaches from each other. Assuming that they do, doesn't that create conflict for you? Who do you follow? Under which circumstance do you apply one over the other? If you try to apply all the advice, aren't you just going in circles or, worse, sending out very conflicting or unclear messages about who you are to your customers and prospects? And if you happen to find mentors who are all in sync, then why do you need them all? Lower your expenses and concentrate on one - it usually does cost money, time and/or energy to meet with these people, buy their books, attend their seminars and follow them online.
OK, at this point I have to admit that I do have more than one person whose opinions I respect and whose advice I take. I'm even willing to name names: Cliff Quicksell is the person I refer to when my creative inspiration for promotional marketing needs a jumpstart. David Blaise is my guidepost for developing successful prospecting strategies for my company. Finally for sales advice (and humor), I purchase Jeffrey Gitomer's books like they're going out of print. Although all three cross over somewhat in their offerings, I choose which facets of each are most in line with my personal style and business model and use those to grow my business. There is no confusion and my clients know exactly what Lev Promotions is all about.
Can you say the same for your business?
Rama Beerfas is Chief Solutions Specialist for San Diego-based Lev Promotions, offering complete marketing services from consulting, promotional products, mobile marketing, social media marketing, editorial work and more. Rama also offers seminars and training in marketing and customer service related topics. She can be reached at (619) 697-2045 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.levpromotions.com. Column requests and comments are welcome.market