Extending my 15 minutes

Sep 21, 2009 7:00:00 PM
It is so ironic… Last week I was going to post an entry about the biggest lie in business and it related to Press and sales. I’m going to post it now and hope beyond hope that the biggest lie turns out to in fact be the truth. Here it goes:

“I’d like to share with you one of the biggest lies about business and a mistake that many new inventors and entrepreneur make.

I naively thought (as you might too) that Press = sales. That is simply not the case….unless maybe you get on Oprah. PR is necessary and gives you the creditability to go GET the sales, but it is not the golden goose that newbie inventors and entrepreneurs think it is. I thought that a few big newspaper articles, a national cable TV appearance and a few national magazines would mean life on easy street. NOT SO! There is no substitute for good ol’ fashion pounding the pavement. Making sales calls is where my money comes from, not from an article in a magazine or a few appearances on The Big Idea. Had I understood that sooner, I would have made a lot more sales calls early on and wouldn’t have been so preoccupied with the press. New entrepreneurs think that there is some “golden ticket” out there and I’m here to tell you, it’s a lie. Don’t get me wrong, PR and marketing are important, but you have to understand what it is, what it does and how to use it to increase revenue. It (in of itself) is NOT instant millions! Press alone does a lot more for your ego then it does for your bottom line.

Now I might wind up eating my words someday and lord knows, I sure hope that day comes, but if you are looking for that 1 golden ticket or are basing your business plan on fame and not sales, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I do what I do to keep my name in the media to continue to build brand awareness, but I no longer hold out for that “one big break”. Sales Sales Sales is where my bread gets buttered. “

Since Shark Tank has come along, I have talked with some new friends who have been on the show the past few weeks and the ones I have talked to have said that being on the show (regardless of whether they got a deal or not) has been “life changing”. Maybe, just maybe Oprah is not the only golden goose. Regardless, I still stand by my original statement in that basing your business’s success on press is a BIG MISTAKE and in most cases, if you don’t parlay your media attention into something more than your 15 minutes, then you will be no better off a month down the road, then you were before you got your “big break”. I can’t wait to put this little experiment to the test. 7 more days and counting!!! Now, in order to maximize my 15 minutes and try to turn into 30, I am trying to do all the “right things” such as notifying other media, current customers, target customers and pie in the sky accounts as well. The day after the show airs, my press release will go out to the media and I’m already setting up interviews with folks who have been there for me in the past. I’m trying to do all the right things to make this attention do more than just flood my inbox with people wanting to know if I can get them on the show too or soliciting everything from closeout inventory offers to warehousing. I do know one thing for sure….. sitting back on my 15 minutes would be a HUGE mistake and it’s going to be my job to use the attention for what it is… a door to get more sales and not rely on it to bring sales all by itself. In the days and weeks after the show, I will call every account I possibly can. 24/7 sales baby! Then and only then, I think it will it be everything I hope it can be.

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Posted in News By Leslie Haywood