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"Operation Get Profitable"


#1

Last Friday was my last day of work at my “day job” (doing consulting now instead) and I’m taking my first two weeks of freedom to carry out what I call “Operation Get Profitable” which will basically be two full weeks of nothing but door-to-door sales. Any encouragement is very much appreciated.

I wrote a blog post about it here with details:
http://www.jasonswett.net/operation-get-profitable-80-salons-in-8-days/


#2

I see you need two… I would encourage you to keep going for the full two weeks even if you get two the first week. Otherwise you’ll get swept up in busy-work and leave yourself vulnerable if one of them quits on you. Good luck!

For our first online store I had to go to a ton of markets and talk to people face-to-face for weeks on end, you’ll get a patter going in the end. My kids can do the pitch now as they’ve stood next to me giving it 10’s of times! The good thing with markets though is there’s pancakes and brownies to bribe them with :wink:


#3

That’s a good idea to keep going even if I hit the target, thanks. I do plan to do that.


#4

Two things:

  1. Awesome! This sounds like a great thing to do.

  2. In the interests of efficiency - are there any hairstyling competitions, tradeshows, schools, etc. that you could go to and try to meet 10X as many people all at once?


#5

Good luck, jason. I have a feeling you’ll be a great salesperson. :slight_smile:


#6

@mbuckbee

  1. Thanks!
  2. Yes. I’ve looked into most of these things and each time been driven back to canvassing, since getting in front of a salon owner seems to give me the highest ROI. However, I believe the rules will change once I have some profit to spend on e.g. an attention-grabbing booth at a trade show, or to spend on putting on a free seminar for local salon owners. Your suggestion does kind of make me want to give these ideas a second glance, though.

#7

Thanks, @starr. I try. :slight_smile:


#8

Very cool. Keep us updated with how’s it going?


#9

A microconf this weekend @patio11 said that he booked appointments with massage (IIRC) therapists and then said he just wanted to talk to them for 30 minutes about their requirements (to assess demand for his appointment reminder software). Quite a few of them became customers and only 1 demanded the booking fee. Might be something to try? You need to be talking to the business owner though.

Ps/ You look like you could use a haircut. ;0)


#10

They’re salon owners! Looking like he needs a haircut is how he reeeeeeels them in :wink:


#11

Thanks for the suggestion, @Andy. (BTW, I enjoyed your guest appearance recently on that Bootstrapped podcast.) I’m familiar with that story, and that’s pretty much what I’m doing. Fortunately for me (and anyone else doing similar sales work), it turns out that many stylists and salon owners are thrilled to spend time talking with you even if you don’t offer to pay them. If you make them feel important by telling them you need their “expert advice” (and if you break up the monotony of their day by talking to them when they would otherwise have been twiddling their thumbs), that’s perhaps better than money. This works out fantastically for me, since I’m not exactly prepared to pay up to 80 stylists when some of them charge $50 for a 20-minute haircut (for real).

If anyone is interested to hear, my sales approach is not, “Hey, wanna buy some software?” I say, “Hi, I’m in the process of building a business that helps salon owners. I’m not a stylist myself and so I need your expert opinion to help keep me on track. Could I show you what I’m working on, and then you can tell me what you think of it?” If I sense genuine interest, then I turn the conversation to “Would you yourself find this useful at your salon?” and then I try to close the deal.


#12

As another aside, I’ve spent plenty of time just patiently sitting while a stylist complains to me about annoying clients, her husband, or whatever else. Now that I think of it, none of these people have become customers so far, but it kind of illustrates that people often yearn for a sympathetic ear, and they don’t particularly mind that that sympathetic ear belongs to a total stranger who only showed up to try to sell them some software. These relationship-building seeds can bear fruit later.


#13

They “sound” like the kind of people that once they would see some of their competitors / colleagues using your software they would give it a try as well. Of course, I could be totally wrong :wink:

Have you read Daniel Pink’s book To Sell is Human? In it he describes how some door-to-door salesmen (which I guess this sort of is) stays motivated and finds a way to keep on going, which also partially has to do with finding the positive in interactions, even when he doesn’t close. Interesting read (albeit maybe too late :wink:)


#14

@JaapRood, no, I haven’t read that book but it sounds right up my alley. Thanks for the suggestion.


#15

Brief update: I got a new customer today! (This one had been in the works well before OGP.) Now I just need one more customer to be profitable. More detailed update to come.


#16

Like the sales pitch, might just steal that!


#17

I think I speak for many when I say that I’m very curious how this has all panned out!


#18

I just face palmed myself. Completely missed your updates post