black t shirt|
A few years ago I spoke at a large marketing conference in Atlanta, Georgia. One woman approached my display table to ask a few questions. Honestly she was so attractive it was intimidating. Tall with a pretty face, understated jewelry, a blue designer suit with beautiful shoes and a high-end bag. She looked like she’d just stepped out of a catalog. I thought to myself, “How polished! This woman really puts out a winning image. She must do very well with her business.”
Then, as she turned to walk away, I spotted it…
Her silky, shiny hair was pulled back by a dingy white scrunchie that looked in desperate need of a washing, if not discarding. It was a truly skanky scrunchie.
Everything positive this woman had projected was immediately tarnished by this negligent afterthought.
Now, of course I assumed the poor woman must have been traveling and forgotten her good scrunchie, and that’s all she had in her bag.
So a few months later I’m at another marketing conference here in Los Angeles, standing at my booth after speaking on the main stage. And up she walks again to say hi, looking fabulous as before. We have another great conversation, and as she turns away, there it is… AGAIN.
The skanky scrunchie!
I realized then that she had no idea it had a negative effect in any way. She must have thought that no one would notice. Or that since the rest of her outfit was so polished that it wouldn’t matter.
My point is not to ridicule this woman’s choice of accessories. My point is how one piece of a “package” can ruin the entire presentation. Another example is seeing a beautifully dressed man (I just love a man in a sharp suit and tie) with shabby shoes. There goes the sale!
I eventually realized I had a few “skanky scrunchies” of my own, when it came to how I packaged my products. While I’d upgraded most of my marketing materials to my slick new look, there were a few product packages remaining that looked like I’d created them myself using clip art. (That’s because I had!) I wasn’t proud to ship them to people. I wasn’t proud to display them at my seminars. In fact, I avoided showing them to anyone at all, which of course meant no one could buy them.
My good friend Kim Castle of says that your marketing materials should “make you tingle” when you look at them. Like your business card for example. I’d say almost half of all people who hand me their business card make some type of excuse for it. “Oh this is just a temporary card for now.” “This is my old logo on here.” “Sorry this isn’t updated yet.” Kim calls this “business card shame.” I love that!
I’ve realized over the last year that if I want to BE a million-dollar business, I’d better start LOOKING like one (and acting like one, for that matter). And that attitude and those actions are paying off immensely.
So take about 30 minutes this week and inventory all your marketing materials. I mean ALL of them. Your website, business cards, brochures, product packaging, even forms — anything that your prospects or clients and customers see. (And even the things only you and your staff see.)
Do they all look consistent and professional? Or do some of them look like your kid designed it or it was thrown together quickly?
If any give you shame, they’re your skanky scrunchies. Write them down on a piece of paper, and then write down what you’re going to do about them, and when.
Resolve to fix them yourself or outsource the design and production to get them revised ASAP. I guarantee you’ll thank yourself once you do! You’ll not only be more proud to give out and sell your materials, you’ll see your business rise as well.
write by Bridget