A new client left me speechless, which is rare. “I never needed marketing before, why do I need it now?” Indeed. How do so many companies survive for years without marketing, outreach, and business development? What about the marketplace has changed? The answer isn’t all that complicated. You need marketing more today because so many more people have access to inexpensive advertising. Consider how many direct competitors you could identify ten years ago compared to how many you see now. I bet your customers can count even more. Regardless of your reputation, you have to work harder to stand out from the crowd. Good companies that don’t talk about themselves or are easy to discover can’t differentiate themselves from posers. So here I am with a client that has never done this before. He is worried about looking desperate, needy, or cheap. What does he need to do to gain momentum from a dead stop? We came up with five simple steps, none of which cost anything but time. 1. Review your contact list and select 10, 50, or 100 folks that have done business with you in the past, but not recently. Let’s assume that these are satisfied customers. […]
You can copy the way another company looks, but you can’t copy how they think. Your mindset will determine whether you have sustainable results. A colleague who felt we would be a good fit recently referred me to a company that was interested in my services. I exchanged emails with the owner and setup the call. At the appointed time, I called the office and was trapped in an auto-attendant loop that disconnected when I dialed ‘0’ to reach a human. Three of the extensions I tried had full mailboxes. I called the owner’s mobile phone. No answer, mailbox full. As a last resort I sent an email, which was shortly answered with apologies and an excuse. We reset the call time and tried again. Same result. I can’t make this stuff up. I sent another email that shared details of my phone system dead-ends and full mailboxes, but never received a reply. Here’s the thing: this company and its owner came recommended as a high-quality supplier that pays attention to details and looks like a company much larger than they are. Their website is great, the pictures of their work are stunning, and in general they look like a […]
In this podcast Tom reveals three key steps to breaking down silos in your organization.
This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of SCN I am sitting down with an owner and he tells me that his business is finally growing again, but his managers are demanding more resources. “We’re all max’ed out. We need more people!” When the fearless owner pointed out that the firm successfully operated with the same staff size at 50% higher revenue only two years ago, the response is, “Well that won’t work now. We can account for every hour and there is nothing left.” Consider another story. A successful Design-Build integrator finds itself competing with bare-bones contractors for the same business. Even when the customer acknowledges that the Design-Build company if offering more value, they go with the lower service and lower price offer. Two stories – one problem: Over-delivering. The firm that runs at capacity regardless of revenue is using every resource to deliver the best outcome it can, instead of the outcome that was sold. The sales team that is trying to leverage value-adds has unintentionally made them worthless by making them free. If you do both? Well…that’s truly unfortunate. The solution is surprisingly simple. Several years ago I was helping an integrator reduce its […]
Tom shares why not identifying the right goals can set you up for failure.
Tom discusses why you’ll make better choices for your business if you think like your customer instead of for your customer.
This article was originally published in the May 2016 issue of Entertainment Technology Asia Growing a Rental and Staging business has never actually been easy, but today it seems like anyone can get into the game. Competition is fierce, products and services increasingly commoditized, and getting ahead seems harder. How do you grow, make money, and not collapse under your own weight? There are three key best practices that will keep your rental business vibrant. Learn How to Oversell In order to grow, you must sell more than you did the period prior, consistently. If customers would cooperate by not scheduling their events at the same time, then this task is easy. However, peaks and valleys are the norm for most of us. The trick is to make the busy periods consistently larger without sacrificing quality. This requires a fearless commitment to new business alongside a dynamic operation that can adjust to fluctuations in workload. Growing, profitable rental businesses rely heavily on outsourced staff and equipment in peak periods in conjunction with just-in-time hiring and purchasing to accommodate this type of growth. Transparent Processes As companies grow, the tendency is for the details of a project to reside in the Sales process […]
Today Tom shares why transactional thinking could be killing your goals and potential profits.
I am going to make an important assumption about you and your business. At one time you were very much in love. You started with a great idea and received lots of encouragement from those around you. You dated the idea, maybe tried living together, and finally – without being certain of what all could happen, you took the plunge into a permanent relationship confident that you wanted to find out what would happen next, together. The banker closed the loan book and announced, “’Til death or sale do you part. You may make your first payment.” Then life happens. Having a job is like dating another person. You may be committed and monogamous, but you have to pay attention or you could get dumped. Owning a business is marriage. Once you have committed to your company, you have to keep pouring your heart and soul into it in good times and bad – or else, the love that sparked the journey will fade. However, the biggest difference is that in either case, your relationship plays out in a fishbowl in a room full of watchers. As I write today, I am sitting in a hotel room on a visit […]