Here on the west coast of Canada we have had an AMAZING July – 31 consecutive days of sunshine! This isn’t our typical summer. Usually we get a few days of sun, then some cloudy days – then of course rain!
One of the things that the cloudy days can teach us is that even when you can’t see an opportunity it can be right around the corner. During our recent hot spell everyone is reminded to put on sunscreen, but I am willing to bet that as soon as the cloudy days return people will forget the sunscreen and be surprised when they get a sunburn.
You see, we know the sun’s rays come right through the clouds and can still burn our skin. In some ways business opportunities can be the same. We may not see them and unless we look for them we miss them.
Here’s an example of a hidden opportunity I saw someone recently miss. I was at a networking function and it was the standard “you’ve got two minutes to promote your business” type event. I like these because if you’re smart you can really clarify what you do in a short blurb that keeps people interested. However, if you don’t plan ahead and ‘wing it’ you often don’t get your message out clearly. As I listened to people talk about their businesses – some did great – others not so much, I was drawn to listen to one woman who did a not so great job. She spoke for two minutes and I still only vaguely understand what she does. But it’s what she did BEFORE the event that made me see how much she was missing. She circulated through the room and didn’t introduce herself – she just handed out her flyer to EVERYONE!
Now I know that there were at least two people in that room that would have been AMAZING joint venture partners for this woman but 1) they were turned off by her “me first” attitude, and 2) she didn’t bother to go speak to them one to one after they had explained what they do. She was expecting people to come to her.
The lesson here – LISTEN to what people say BEFORE you speak and recognize that NOT everyone needs what you have, and you turn people OFF when you mass market by giving everyone your information without even introducing yourself.
Be smart with your marketing – there are hidden opportunities everywhere – you just need to look!