Guest post by Janet W. Christy (learn more about Janet at the end of this post)
Although the following story is told in the voice of a Small Business Owner, much of it pertains to a Salesperson new to a company or territory. The items that apply to a Salesperson who is not an owner are highlighted.
New Business Opens
I am ready. Let the phones ring and the revenue come.
I have completed my Marketing To Do list:
- I have developed a mission statement that is eloquent and succinct.
- I hired a branding expert who developed a stunning logo and brilliant tag line.
- I have business cards and brochures that are vibrant and include my logo, tag line and even my mission statement.
- I have obtained every certification applicable to my ownership status (WBE, MBE, Small, etc.)
- I had a website developed that is colorful and includes exciting graphics, persuasive words, a blog and even videos.
- I have joined two Chambers of Commerce, three networking groups and two lead groups.
- I purchased a blackberry/i-phone and keep it with me so I can be reached by voice, text, email or twitter at any time.
- I am a member of all the major social networks and eight small/niche ones.
Two Months Later
I am waiting. Why aren’t the phones ringing and where is the revenue.
I have completed my new Marketing To Do list:
- I have paid the bill for my new logo, tag line, business cards and brochures.
- I have paid for the development and two months hosting for my website.
- I have paid for my blackberry/i-phone and two months service.
- I have paid for the two Chamber memberships.
- I have shared my mission statement at meetings of the five network groups I joined.
- I have gotten feedback from at least twenty people who told me that my logo is interesting, cool and sophisticated.
- I have attended six networking sessions, paid for the six lunches and handed out my new business card and brochures to at least thirty people.
- I spend an average of two hours a day on social networking sites.
- I have posted four entries to the blog on my website.
- I I have ordered notepads that include my stunning logo and brilliant tag line.
Six Months Later
I am frustrated. The phones are ringing with calls from sales people and there has been a small trickle of revenue.
I have completed another new To Do list, not sure if it’s all Marketing related:
- I have reordered business cards because I gave them all out at networking events.
- I have learned more about my friends, family and some business contacts than I ever wanted to know thanks to the social networking sites.
- I have had four people thank me for the advice I provided in the blog on my website, but none of them offered to hire me.
- I have gained five pounds from the food at networkings meetings and luncheons.
- I have five new friends/acquaintenances who sell/provide the same things I do.
- I have been told three times by my children that I missed their big play because I was emailing from my blackberry/i-phone while sitting in the stands.
Over the last eight years I have seen this type of scenario play out many, many times. Sometimes it goes on for years. Sometimes a business owner will “start over” repeating most of the To Do’s in the first list thinking that they need a new mission statement or logo, a revamped website, fancier brochures or to do more networking. I have found that most of the time the problem is that they are not getting information about their business to the right people – the ones who will actually pay for their products/services. As a matter of fact they often do not know who their customers/clients/prospects are. Or if they are reaching the right people, they are not presenting their business in the most effective manner.
Marketing must be targeted and focused or it wastes precious time and money and results in more frustration than revenue.
Revised Marketing Strategy
I am equipped. I will make the phones ring and the revenue come.
I have prepared my new Marketing To Do list:
- I will make certain I know who my real customers/clients are.
- I will know and respect my competition.
- I will be sure my Prospects and Customers/Clients understand what my products/services are.
- I will determine how my products/services meet my Customers/Clients needs because I know that is what is important to them.
- I will develop information on my products/services in a form (or forms) that suit my Prospects.
- I will identify and participate in organizations, sites and events that put me in touch with my real Prospects.
- I will be familiar with and follow the “doing business with” processes of my Prospects and Customers/Clients even if that means registering on numerous websites, getting certifications or filling out multiple forms.
- I will look for opportunities to be a sub-contractor so I can increase my chances.
- I will develop a schedule for Marketing Actions and treat those tasks with the same importance and commitment that I treat customer projects.
- I pledge to revamp and update my Marketing Plan on a regularly basis to insure that I keep my activities and materials relevant.
- I will celebrate my marketing successes (new Customers/Clients, earned revenue, increased list of real Prospects) instead of counting acts (events/meetings attended, business cards given out, website hits, blog feedback).
About the Author
Janet W. Christy is Owner/President of Leverage & Development, LLC a South Carolina Corporation that provides marketing consulting, training and research for Small Businesses. Based on the questions, concerns and obstacles she has seen and heard in her consulting to and training of Small Business owners she has compiled a list of Marketing To Do’s. In her book 101 Winning Marketing Actions for Small Businesses she provides a workshop in book form. A Small Business Owner or Salesperson can make an effective Marketing To Do List using Actions from this book no matter what stage or type of business they are in. Janet is also the author of Capitalizing On Being Woman Owned. More information can be found at www.leverageanddevelopment.com and www.janetchristy.com.