March 16, 2010

It’s a numbers game

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 10:41 am



To survive, let alone be a category leader, adequate numbers of prospects must be developed. This cannot be accomplished through time-and-energy-draining two-way communication, either face to face or on the phone. Publisher McGraw Hill has estimated that the average sales call requires approximately 45 minutes, and that an average of three calls is required to close a sale. That’s simply inefficient.  Prospecting is what marketing – the one-way communication element of sales – is ideally suited for.  Whether by e-mail, surface mail or online,  your sales success likely be in direct proportion to your one-way outreach.





March 2, 2010

Marketing against the “hurt”

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 5:31 pm



We always start a new client relationship by asking the client to relate the things that makes them different and better than their competitors. There are two reasons for this.


One: It gives us a clearer picture of the marketing “ammunition” we will have with which to work.


Two: If a client doesn’t at least believe they are better than their competitors, we don’t take them on (we are opportunity agents, not turnaround artists).


When clients ask me how we want this information formatted, we point out that we have a questionnaire for them to complete, but also ask them to write “a letter to an uncle,” as if they were bringing a long-lost relative up to date on the status of their business. These little missives can be quite revealing, and often contain some of the more intimate details that may be lacking in the more formalized questionnaire.


If I were to write such a letter now, while I would report gratefully that business is quite good, I’d add, “But, Uncle (Jim), I’m nonetheless concerned because I   see an awful lot of ‘hurt’ out there.” This, of course, includes excellent business operators who are inexorably caught up in a riptide of negative circumstances not of their own making.


Yet, as an optimist by nature (what marketing person isn’t?) I see a light at the end of the tunnel and, hopefully, it isn’t attached to the front of a Southern Pacific or Santa Fe locomotive. With some notable exceptions like the construction and real estate industries there are many whose fortunes, while impacted by the pervasive economic malaise experienced within these fields, are nonetheless neither entirely nor directly dependent upon them.


To these relatively fortunate folks, I would say, yes, swimming upstream is difficult – but not impossible – and is eminently worth the effort, particularly when considering the alternative; for to merely “float” is to fall back.


There are many success stories currently being written by people who have opted for reinvention in the face of perfect storms of economic upheaval. And they are punctuating their new direction with infusive promotional initiatives that fly on the wings of energetic marketing effort. Various tales of their reemergence are being related in the traditional media and, in increasing numbers, Online and along Main Street.


Shiny paint, new carpeting, new pursuits and positively inclined press releases that chronicle these are shoving aside the vestiges of doom and gloom while inspiring us all. Indeed, the “brass ring,” though undeniably harder to reach, is still there for the grabbing. And while in a couple years some among us will still be cursing the darkness, fortune, to a degree never before seen in our lifetime, will, again, have favored The Bold.


And The Bold will be looking back on their immediate past, flushed with their “new” success and relieved to have survived yet another “close one.”