Change is Scary

Change is GoodChange is a scary thing.  It causes anxiety and sometimes stops us in our tracks.  That fear prevents us from moving forward.

But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t change.  It just means it may be hard.

Over this past summer, my family and I made a huge change.  We moved.  Not just cities, but states.  It is one of the biggest changes we’ve ever made.  Venturing out on our own.  No family to jump in to help.  New schools for the kids, new neighbors, new stores.  No familiar faces.  Major change.

And, after 5 weeks of being in this new place, with these new schools and people, I can certainly tell you that change is scary.  It causes us to re-think everything we do.  I no longer have my regular Starbucks, where everyone knew my name.  I have to make my new one mine, and that will take time.  It won’t happen overnight.

The same goes for our marketing.  Time and again, companies tell me that they are doing something “because that is the way it’s always been done,” regardless of whether it is working or not.

Change is a scary thing.  Changing the way we market is just as scary.  What if people expect our coupon to be in the weekly paper and it no longer is.  Will they stop coming?  Maybe, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t change.

One year ago, I started working with a clothing company, whose main form of contact with their clients were email “newsletters” announcing their latest sales.  There was no schedule, they happened whenever they thought about it.  The sales didn’t even have a schedule.  My first order of business with them was to stop their email flyers completely.  Cold turkey.  Instead, they were to send out an actual newsletter, with stories from their clients and an insight into the people that worked there.  They weren’t allowed to mention products or prices at all.  It was all about the client.  They invited them to share to Pinterest, to reach out on Facebook and to engage on Twitter.

When we started they were looking at year over year sales that were declining at an alarming rate.  That first email, the one where no products were mentioned and no discounts offered, brought them thousands of dollars in sales.  In one week.

They connected.  They changed.

One month later, they repeated the process.  Great newsletter.  Great content.  No sale.  The process continued,  and, sales skyrocketed.  To the point that they finished the year substantially ahead of the year before.

Change is scary.  But, many times, it can lead to a new and better way of doing things.  A new and better way of living.

What do you need to change to move your company to the next level?