Home Truths, from Richard Crawford-Small

There are a few ‘home truths’ that I think people need to hear.

Over the last few years, I’ve been through a real change, evolution and process of learning as a person, businessman and entrepreneur, and I’ve grown up as a result of that. I have also discovered certain truths that are absolute fact – as much as I don’t like to acknowledge them as being fact, they actually are! I’ve written about them in my new book “Changing Minds”, the sequel to “Changing Faces”, and the sooner we can get our heads around this, and accept these truths as the facts that they are, we will gain a competitive edge and advantage over the people who don’t believe them to be true and therefore don’t change and adapt their businesses accordingly.

The Home Truths

So, without further ado, allow me to present… the home truths.

“People really don’t care about you, they literally only care about themselves.”

This is absolutely true. No one gives a shit about your products or your services, and maybe not even that much of a shit about you! What they care about is what you can do for them and how you can solve their problems, save them time and money, speed things up and help them to achieve their goals. 

They don’t give a shit about you and I know this to be true because it’s the same in my world, and you and I have similar jobs in the way that we are both judged on our outcomes. We need to be letting people know what’s in it for them. It’s the bit we often miss during marketing, with all the communication about what we do that’s great for ourselves. When we do this, we forget to let our clients know what’s in it for them, and the benefits of working with us and choosing our services. 

You have to tell people. I call it leading them to Valhalla – there’s a pathway to go on and it’s all about how you articulate the story of your products and services. Of course, you can talk about what it is that you do, but it’s in your interest to be talking more about how what you do actually helps your client to achieve their goals. How do we know our clients’ goals? We put the time and effort into really understanding their motivations and this is crucial in enabling us to communicate emotionally. Through this, we can add value and help our clients to understand how, ultimately, we can solve their problems.

“People hate being sold to on social media and that includes slithering into their DMs.”

So, what does that mean? Well, people don’t like being sold to in general. I do kind of think of this as being British and slightly cynical. People from other nations often don’t have quite the same hatred of it. They don’t share this cultural dislike of someone trying to get one over on you. 

On a personal level, I have a big arse and big thighs and it’s all from playing rugby which means that buying jeans is a total pain in the arse, literally. There’s this one pair of jeans, this one type that fit me perfectly. Japanese selvedge denim, EDWIN jeans, £150 a pop. Love them but they don’t last that long. There’s one shop in Brighton that sells them so, I’ll get there, walk in, say hello to the guy whose shop it is, however, rather than doing what I should do which is walk in there and say straight away: “right, these are the jeans I want, this size, this colour, can you get them for me please?”, try them on and I’m off. Instead, I do a little dance. After walking in the shop and saying hello, I will go and have a look at the shirts, none of which fit due to my 18½ inch neck, and then the tank tops, and then the shoes. But, if at any point during my little dance he comes over to me and asks if I would like any help, the answer is “no, go away”.

About two minutes later, I’ll end up in the jeans section and if he’s not there straight away, I’m pissed off. That process is born out on social media. You have to give people time to acclimatise and get used to the situation and what’s happening. What I think happens a lot is that a signal is misread. For example, when someone joins your Facebook group, it’s not a buying signal. That’s just a signal that they’re interested in having a conversation with you. It does not give you the right to immediately start hammering them with direct messages, offering them shit. It doesn’t work that way. Allow people to relax into your community, let them land and let them breathe. When they’re ready, they’ll come and talk to you. Build a relationship with them and they’ll be more willing to listen to you. 

Is phoning up the same as selling on social media? No, because they’ve already purchased from you and are part of your vibe, in a sense. You’ve got a warm lead and the difference between a cold, warm or hot lead is basically conversation, relationship and trust. They’ve been through your world and sampled what you do. When you call them up, it’s not a sell. Don’t be afraid, you’re not cold calling. You’re re-establishing the relationship.  

“We all tend to purchase in the same way.” 

Now, this whole truth has made me laugh sometimes, particularly when I hear people say “my customers don’t do that” and “that’s not my market” or “no, no, no, the Italians are different”. Even when I was working in corporates, yes, culturally there are some differences, but we all tend to buy the same way because we’re all kind of hard-wired to buy that way. That ‘way’ involves emotion and logic. We buy through emotion and we justify the purchase with logic. When someone walks into your world and approaches you, you want to be hitting that sweet spot, that emotional purchase. What emotions are best to tap into? All the emotions are there and you are better placed to answer that yourselves, for your particular clients. 

For me, I like to tap into more positive emotions such as aspiration and hope. You want to give your clients a sense of elation, obviously with realistic expectations attached, but ultimately, the emotion that they’re going to generate is the one that they want. Fear is one to avoid, as is negativity in general. Actually, it doesn’t work. You can’t ride or bully people into going to a particular clinic. Saying “if you go and see this person, you’re going to end up with this” doesn’t work, so just talk about what you’re good at and why you’re good at it. This will allow their emotional state to connect with the messages you’re putting out there, and it will work.

“No one is coming to save you. This shit is going to be hard.”

Now, this is aimed at those of you who are emerging aesthetic businesses, just coming out of your shells and full of enthusiasm. I want to give you a bit of a reality check, not in a cruel and unkind way, but in a way that I think you need to hear, because you need to have some realistic expectations. You’re going to have to do the work. No one’s coming to save you. You are going to be responsible for the decisions that you make. You get what you pay for. There are no shortcuts or easy wins in starting a business. If there were, I’d have found them and be sharing them with you right now. 

One home truth that I should have had is that, if you’ve got revenue, you don’t need to worry about funding. Now, that is a home truth that someone should have slapped me right in the face with. Once you’ve got your revenue sorted, funding takes care of itself. It’s all about sales, mate! Stop hunting for funding and go and sell some shit. That is one of the home truths that I wish I’d had. Maybe it wouldn’t have stopped me in my tracks. If someone did say that to me, I’d have probably just ignored them. Basically, you need to buckle in for the ride because it’s not going to be easy. It’s learning and knowledge and this is hard-earned knowledge that without which, I wouldn’t have done what I have, in the way that I have done it.

“Pay close attention to what you’re doing and be less concerned about what others are doing.”
There is lots and lots of noise at the moment about the evil of therapists working with injectables in the aesthetics market. I don’t think it’s right, sorry if you’re reading this and you don’t agree but that’s just my opinion. It’s time to actually start knuckling down and focussing on how we are approaching and driving our own businesses rather than constantly looking around and commenting on others. I can assure you of this, they don’t care. Literally, don’t care. If you’re having your arse kicked by someone who is not as capable or as qualified as you, the reason is because they’re communicating with your market better than you are. 

There they are, my home truths. Accept them for the facts they are and gain that competitive advantage over those haven’t yet done so themselves.              

Leave a Reply