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How to Bring the Amalfi Zing
into Your Sales Game

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ppart of what I love about travel is seeing all the different ways people around the world do business and life.
While out and about in southern Italy this summer, I found myself frequently observing a particular style of entrepreneurial hustle and flair. The local approach to marketing was bold, confident, obvious and effective. It reminded me how simple sales can be once you drop the drama, keep your ideal client at the forefront and just go for it, as the Italians seem to know so well.

For example, if you’ve ever felt shy about posting on Facebook, then let me tell you about a very outgoing businessman I encountered in Positano. On the way to lunch one day, we got stuck behind an unmarked white van driving slowly through a residential area. There wasn’t anything special about it, except for a loudspeaker on top loudly broadcasting some kind of message to the locals.

Now I don’t speak Italian (other than Gucci, Ferragamo, Versace, Tartufo Bianco and Vermentino), so when this big white van came to a complete stop, I wasn’t sure what was about to happen. I wondered, was this a political protest? Would there be pamphlets? Then, a woman emerged from her home and a man walked out of the van with a bedroom pillow, which she promptly purchased from him and took back upstairs with a smile on her face.

quote-1In that moment, I thought—how freaking genius! This wasn’t a delivery service. This was an entrepreneur driving through town, marketing a product directly to people who need it, allowing them to hear about it and access it on the spot. It was exactly what all of us should be doing with our social media and online marketing: bringing what we have to offer directly to the people who want it. Because when you go where your people are, they are happy to purchase.

A few weeks after that genius marketing moment we witnessed, Glenn and I took a day trip to Sorrento, just north of Positano. I had read that Sophia Loren had dined at this one rustic seaside place there and we were excited to try it. After a long walk along the water, we finally caught sight of it—a hut with plastic chairs next to several other huts. And before we could make it to the door, one of the two sisters who owns the place came out and warmly, enthusiastically suggested we come in for lunch.

gina-writeThough we were planning on dining there anyway, I now understood why this particular hut was better known than the next four after it. The owner didn’t know we had read about her restaurant in Travel + Leisure, she simply had the confidence and the hustle to walk out of her restaurant into the street and invite everyone who walked by to come try her cooking.

It was an obvious tactic that made a major difference. And it got me thinking, why shouldn’t those of us in business feel empowered to literally go ask for the sale? Invite people to work with us! So many of us in modern times will open the kitchen and hire the staff so to speak, only to stand inside with our menus waiting for people to find out how great our food is—even though we know that’s not how it works.

It doesn’t matter what your business is, the lessons are the same. It’s time for women entrepreneurs like us to be more assertive and direct when it comes to bringing in paying clients. Below I’ve synthesized five tips I hope will inspire you to add some Italian zest to your marketing strategy and bring in more clients with confidence.

5-lessons

1Go Where Your
Ideal Client Is

Sometimes we make life more difficult than it needs to be. When you’re not making the sales you’d like, it may just be that you have to put the pillows in the van and make yourself heard. Find out where your clients are and figure out the best way to be there. What Instagram accounts are they following? What Facebook groups are they in? What conferences are they attending? Make yourself visible anywhere that fits your brand.

1Go Where Your Ideal Client Is
Sometimes we make life more difficult than it needs to be. When you’re not making the sales you’d like, it may just be that you have to put the pillows in the van and make yourself heard. Find out where your clients are and figure out the best way to be there. What Instagram accounts are they following? What Facebook groups are they in? What conferences are they attending? Make yourself visible anywhere that fits your brand.

Be Bold & Introduce
Yourself

Now that you’ve found your people, don’t be shy and hide inside the restaurant—go let them know what you’re all about. Give them the opportunity to get to know you, like you and trust you. Suggest they sign up for your free webinar, download a free info product or schedule a discovery session so they can sample what you have to offer and choose for themselves if it’s something they’d like more of.

Your Confidence
Shows, So Own It

We’ve been talking a lot about being bold and taking action, but the internal piece is just as important. For your marketing to be effective, you have to be confident in your purpose and believe deeply that you’re offering what someone else wants. People will read your energy no matter what you say, so make sure you’re doing the mindset work to affirm your ability to serve your ideal client.

Drop the Drama
A lot of us tend to make a big deal out of whatever actions it takes to get paying clients, when they aren’t anymore extraordinary than chopping wood and carrying water (as a Chinese Zen master would have it). The Italian entrepreneurs I saw certainly created no drama around making themselves visible and being upfront about their offerings. Embrace your sales and marketing as a natural part of what you do, and you’ll start to find you actually enjoy it.

Know You’re Worth It
By putting yourself in the game, you’re honoring your own value and contribution to the world. It will ground your confidence to remember that you deserve success just as much as anyone else who’s willing to go for it. Everyone out there you see who’s seemingly more successful—they’re just the same as you. Maybe they have more hustle, more swagger, have been doing it longer, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a place. You just have to carve one out for yourself.

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