When things get slow, increase the amount of time you spend on marketing and prospecting for new business. If you usually devote 10% of your time and energy to marketing and prospecting when things are fairly busy, you might increase this to 50% when things are slow. It’s easy to find yourself doing little more than being worried, scared, and unproductive when sales aren’t coming in. When things tighten up you must be more disciplined, structured, and constructive with the time you have.
Here are 2 ways to start selling your products again:
Attack every aspect of your marketing platform with massive action and energy. Massive is defined in the dictionary as “large in comparison with what is typical.” My own personal definition is, “that amount of action that will create new problems for yourself and your company.”
Yes, you read that right. You want to create new problems. Most people stop short of this approach; in fact, they usually try to avoid all problems, just to end up with the same old boring recurring situations that they have had for years. They then end up with dull, familiar problems instead of adventurous and positive problems. Massive is critical to making your marketing efforts effective.
In addition to traditional approaches, research and employ creative ways to make your organization more widely known. Don’t think of marketing in terms of just costing money since a lot of efforts can be made without any budget just by utilizing your energy. The types of marketing that work best are a combination of results-oriented direct marketing (direct-response print ads, sales letters, self-mailers, special offers) and low-cost or no-cost visibility-enhancing publicity techniques (press releases, articles, speeches, booklets, seminars, newsletters, radio and TV interviews).
Never try to replace the more labor-intensive marketing efforts with traditional paid advertising. A lull in business requires that you expend extra effort to attract clients, follow up on leads, and stay in contact with and extend your power base.
While you can accomplish this through traditional advertising, utilize activities that don’t cost any money: phone calls, personal visits, mail, e-mails, fliers, social networking on the Internet, church activities, newsletters, seminars, briefings, “good news” newsletters, instructional videos, community involvement, magazine writing, taking on a public office, speaking at rotary clubs, coaching your kid’s soccer team—and so on. These methods build goodwill, get you better known, and cost nothing but your time and energy!
Whatever you do, be sure you stick with it. Take action consistently andaggressively during every day, week, and month throughout the year. You must commit to a marketing program throughout the year—not just when you need the business—in order for any one of these initiatives to work. Whether it’s a traditional advertisement or some of the other marketing strategies already mentioned, make sure you can stay with it because all marketing takes some time to get traction.
I look at how much it will cost to run that program over the course of a year, not a week or month. While this technique ensures a steady stream of new business contacts in the future, it isn’t guaranteed to reap immediate results. The promotion you conduct today sets in motion a selling cycle that will result in new business when you need it six months into the future.
You have to aggressively and effectively learn to market. It’s about investing energy. Remember that no economy, no matter how bad, can hold down a goal that is followed by enough action.
Hope that helps,