Where does improving the results from your advertising, sales and marketing rank on your company’s “bucket list”? If it is not one of your top priorities for 2021 and beyond, then you are putting the business at risk!
The first words I often hear from business owners these days are “I don’t have any money to invest in marketing the business right now”. And my standard response has become … “Well, should we start talking about an exit strategy then?” The bottom-line is this, if you are not investing in advertising, sales and marketing to grow your business, the business will not be successful.
If you are one of those business owners who is peering out the window hoping Jack will come sliding down the bean stalk with those magic beans to turn everything around for you, well guess what … it’s over. Just turn out the lights, lock the door and put the For Sale sign in the window. Because Jack is not coming!
Or, you could try another approach, and chart a new direction for the business that could lead to future success and profits.Continue reading…
In “Become a Leader in Your Market Niche – Part 1”, I covered some of the basics of how to get started in positioning your company as a leader in your industry. Now it’s time to fill in the blanks. At this point, you have completed a competitive analysis, a customer assessment, compiled your list of JVs and partners, and received expert advice on how to integrate social media marketing into your overall business plans.
So, what’s next?
Identify your leadership target(s). What do you want to be known for, or a leader in? And what are your recognized strengths that can be leveraged as a competitive advantage? Are you perceived as an innovator or technology leader? Do you offer superior products or services? Is your company recognized for quality or operational excellence – i.e. Six Sigma, ISO 9001? Do customers rank your company’s service ahead of the competition?
Does your company receive high praise from its employees as a great place to work, or from the community at-large for its charitable donations and volunteer work? Select your leadership target(s) carefully, and make sure they are in alignment with how the market perceives your business today. Continue reading…
“If you’re not the lead dog on the sled, the scenery never changes.”
The same thing is true in business, isn’t it? Unfortunately, there can only be one market share leader in any given business segment, but there are other ways to become a leader in your market niche. So, where do you start if you’re not a leader today?
Know the competition. Learn all you can about their products and services, who they are selling to, and how they price, advertise, promote and market their offers. Michael Porter, a Harvard Business School professor and the author of Competitive Advantage, stated that “A firm differentiates itself from its competitors if it can be unique at something that is valuable to buyers.”
Once you have completed a thorough competitive analysis you can then identify the key areas of differentiation, and begin to communicate your competitive advantages to the outside world in a way that is compelling and entices prospects to buy from you.
Know your customers. Why are your customers buying from you, and what do they like and dislike about your business? Continue reading…
Has sales leadership become a lost art? I hear all the rhetoric about how marketing has replaced selling, and that consumers are now much more educated and informed as a result of the Internet. But have consumers become more sophisticated out of necessity because so many companies they do business with have poorly trained sales staffs?
I know I am biased on this subject. I was blessed to have received nine months (yes you read that correctly) of intense sales training at AT&T’s National Sales School, and received a world class training experience. At that time, there were a number of companies who had similar outstanding sales training programs including IBM, Xerox and Proctor & Gamble to mention a few. And all of these companies were also recognized as the market leaders in their respective industries. Is there a direct correlation here? Continue reading…