It’s the Friday before the long weekend and I was grocery shopping. I haven’t had breakfast, and soon learned the truth behind the advice not to shop when you are hungry.

I bought far too much food, and with a long weekend, stocked up beyond my requirements, just in case…

It made me realize that often it’s the same when we are hungry for business. We go over the top. We become too earnest, we offer too many discounts in order to close the deal.

The challenge, especially when you start out, is your target audience is broad, probably too broad, because you need the business. When you are in business longer, you hopefully will have narrowed down and found your niche.   But when you start out, anyone and everyone will do.

It comes down to valuing what you do and what you have to offer, and not giving the house away in order to close the deal. That’s hard, but when you come across as desperate, it doesn’t feel right – to you or your potential customer. You give off the wrong vibe.

So what do you do, because bottom line, you do need business. Part of the solution lies in becoming clear on what you do, what you offer and what makes you unique. When you gain clarity on this, it becomes much easier to have the conversation to make the sale. It becomes much easier to stick to your guns as to what you are worth.

This may involve talking to friends, existing customers about what they like about what you do, and what makes your offering different. Listen carefully. Don’t interrupt. It is from those conversations that you may glean your marketing strategy.

If you are going to give discounts, be strategic. At Company of Women, we do, but we have planned the timing carefully and try to make it a win-win situation, so we all benefit from the reduced pricing.

And if you do go over the top to close a deal, learn from it. Reflect on what you would do differently next time. Ask the lucky recipient for a testimonial, that’s the least she can do.

As for me, the extra food is not wasted. It is tucked away in my freezer ready to appear at a later date. But next time, I will eat before I shop.

Anne Day

Anne Day

Company of Women

I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.