Ten years, hundreds of failures, and a handful of successes. That's the story of my life.
I started building businesses my freshman year of college. I started out re-selling wholesale products on eBay. Then I graduated to eCommerce sites. Then I built a consultancy and most recently I've started a publishing company. When I look at some of my biggest successes I've been able to narrow down the root cause to one simple secret. This secret is something you already know but probably never fully understood or applied.
Constant contact. That's the secret.
When you're building a business and you've developed a product or service that's truly remarkable and provides value to others, the secret to success is constant contact. I realized this after thinking about my success in business, the success of others and a motivational mind-game a manager used to play on my co-workers and I. This was a telemarketing job. It was awful, but it taught me how to sell to complete strangers by instantly establishing value. Everyday at 4:00 my manager would say, "Let's drive it home ladies and gentleman. Business is a contact sport." He was referring to the process of constant contact. Once one prospect said no, I would quickly move on to the next. Based on the law of averages I eventually figured out approximately how many calls I had to make to yield "X" amount of sales and it never failed.
As I've recently reflected on some of my biggest successes with my last two business ventures, I found that constant contact was the key to my success. I had created something of value and I reached out to every single person, business and organization that could benefit from the value I was providing.
Understanding this tactic is universal for anybody and it doesn't end with entrepreneurs and business leaders. As an example, say you're an unemployed recent college graduate. Part of the reason you're likely unemployed is because you haven't contacted enough businesses if any at all. You may have filled out and submitted résumés on job posting sites, but this does nothing to separate you from the pack and illustrate the value you can provide. Go to Glassdoor.com or check out the local business directory on Bizjournals.com and contact every single business and pitch your employment services. I don't care if you have to email, call or walk in the door of a hundred businesses. If you do this, I guarantee you won't be unemployed for very much longer.
What's key in understanding the point I'm trying to convey is that for many people who are at a loss for something, rather it be job prospects, business partners or customers, I believe the problem has little to do with people being uninterested in working with you, and more to do with you not reaching out to enough people. I'm living proof of this. By taking this approach to life and business, it's allowed me to publish my first book with endorsements from some of the world's top business leaders like Barbara Corcoran of ABC's Shark Tank and Andrew Warner of Mixergy.com. It's also allowed me to build a profitable consultancy from the ground up with no investors and no connections. Lastly, this tactic has allowed me to achieve the opportunity to write for the site you're viewing this article on right now: The Huffington Post.
Life is a numbers game. It's all about the law of averages, and the only way to win in a numbers game society is to stay in the game. Keep trying and keep pushing through. The next person may just be the break you've been looking for. So instead of spending more money on marketing and advertising that doesn't convert into sales anyway, spend your time building a list of business contacts that could receive value from the product or service you have to offer. It's worked for me and I know it can work for you.
Michael Price is an entrepreneur and author of What Next? The Millennial's Guide To Surviving and Thriving in the Real World endorsed by Barbara Corcoran of ABC's Shark Tank. An advocate of ideas for radical change, he has received critical acclaim for his lessons in education, career, entrepreneurship, and personal finance.