Out of Your Comfort Zone…
There is a terrific quote from Albert Einstein that suggests that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” While many of us have heard this and even acknowledge the logic behind it, it is amazing how often we fall right back into the same routine over and over! Then there is another great quote from Heraclitus that reads… “the only thing that is constant is change” – which very much reinforces the idea that we should be looking to adapt… to alter the behavior of our routines.
In the world of sales and marketing, it is especially important to be willing to try something new! Especially with how technology has brought new media options to our disposal, and how each of our clients react differently to the messages we are sending. In addition, perhaps as compared to any other point in time, we have significant differences in generational trends. Add in the fact that we are more of a global society now than ever before, suggests that we also need to embrace different cultures within our messaging. All together, this makes for very interesting times!
So what is it that keeps us from trying something new within our marketing efforts? I would suggest that it is the reluctance to get out of your comfort zone. We can all get a little too complacent at times and not willing to “rock the boat.” Or, we don’t really understand some of the newer technology, so we prefer to let somebody else try it out first. I understand that it is not always wise to be on the “bleeding edge” of technology, but too often businesses can be overly slow to embrace the new trends – and then all of a sudden you find yourselfbehind the competition.
Perhaps the best way to fight the comfort zone is to push yourself to do some research – to read industry publications, attend conferences, seminars or online webinars. Seek out a group of your peers and find out what they are doing. Listen to your vendors, and even potential new vendors who are calling on you – to find out what they are suggesting. Visit your client’s websites to see what they are involved in doing and how they engage their own clients – or their social media sites – what are they talking about? Try assembling a focus group of select clients and ask them how they prefer being engaged – how do they seek out new resources? What social media sites do they prefer and why? What publications to they regularly read, or associations do they belong to? How do their customers/donors want to be engaged? After all, it really is not about ourselves when it comes to marketing, but ratherour clients and even their clients. If we can find ways to solve our client’s challenges, then we will be of interest to them. Take it one step further and find ways for them to build stronger relationships with their clients and you will truly get the results you are looking for!
Are you open to new ideas? Looking for change? Tell me what has worked for you…
Rick Schildgen is Owner of CL Graphics in Crystal Lake, IL. and has been involved in the printing industry for over 35 years – as a pressman and production worker, to High School and Community College instructor, and finally as a business owner for the last 30 years. I enjoy the opportunity to meet a wide variety of individuals and share experiences – and learn! The challenge of the printing industry is that it is constantly changing and evolving. I am proud of the fact that C L Graphics is not the same company we were when we first started – and it will continue to change. I have learned so much by being involved in industry groups and local organizations, and the challenge of incorporating what I have learned into the business is what keeps me going.