I had a conversation with someone the other day who was interested in HubSpot. They were referred by a client. I asked him how I could help him. He hadn't really bothered to understand what we do.
I positioned us a few times (ie We help small business owners who are frustrated with not getting enough leads from their website and online marketing activities.) He didn't bite. He kept insisting he was doing pretty well with his internet marketing. Unfortunately, he wasn't. Then, he proceeded to pitch me on the idea of trading advertising on his site for HubSpot services.
I told him that we have no need to advertise on his site. We have more leads than we can handle and we know what we need to do to get more, if we need it.
I used to trade services. But, it never worked for a variety of reasons.
Here's my rules taught to my be Rick Roberge:
- I'll buy your service if I have a need and it helps me fill that need.
- Feel free to buy my service if you have a need and you're convinced that it fills the need.
I think the people that try and trade their way to success just don't know how to discover needs and align their product to the needs of the customer. This is going to result in no sales, which is going to result in no cash flow, which is going to make it difficult for them to invest in anything to make their business better, including their online marketing.
Which is a shame because there are a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners out there with great ideas and great passion.
Trading is often used by entrepreneurs as a sales shortcut because they do not have the ability to sell. Before they're going to see their business succeed by closing new business, they need to learn how to identify problems, establish urgency and to present approprate solutions when the time is right.
Unfortunately, they probably also don't have the willingness to make the changes in their business (and themselves) in order to learn these skills.