Constant, unwavering expansion is counterintuitive and even unpopular but will separate you from others in your field more than anything else. Continued, relentless sales and marketing activity will, sooner or later give way to forward movement. This requires you to adopt the concept of “expand” regardless of what the marketplace, the economy and the media are encouraging you to do.
The Masses Are Always Wrong
Never agree with the masses- they are always wrong! Never follow the pack; lead them! Now is the time for you to be aggressive in attaining top-of-mind awareness in the minds of your clients and potential clients. While this expand-and-conquer mentality is completely counterintuitive, given all the bad news, continuing to effectively and aggressively market yourself and your business is a must, if you are going to survive, prosper, and take market share from your competitors.
When The Going Gets Tough, Get Tough and Get Going!
When the economy was going through a significant and major contraction I watched my competitors cut staff and promotion dollars. While I wasn’t adding employees, I wasn’t cutting them either. When I saw our revenues shrink (along with everyone else’s), I decided to cut my own salary and use that money to promote the company and increase my footprint in the marketplace. I spent more money on advertising, marketing and promotion in 18 months than I had in 18 years! Now, two years later, I have tripled my income and more than doubled my staff.
Be smart about this action so that when things get slow you correctly increase the percentage of time spent on marketing and prospecting for new business. For instance, replace your slow-down time with researching creative ways to market and make your name better known within the circles and communities you sell. If you usually devote 10 percent of your time and energy to marketing and prospecting when things are busy, you might increase this to 50 percent when things are slow. During a lull in business, you need to make this extra effort to attract clients, follow up on leads, stay in contact with your power base, and extend that power base. You can do that through traditional advertising, yes. But you can also use a lot of other methods that don’t cost any money.
You can spend your time and energy in many ways: phone calls, personal visits, mail, e-mails, social networking on the Internet, church activities, newsletters, seminars, briefings, “good news” newsletters, instructional videos, community involvements, writing for a magazine, taking on a public office, putting up fliers, speaking at rotary clubs, coaching your kid’s soccer team, etc. Most, if not all, of these actions are very creative, build tremendous goodwill, get you better known, and cost nothing but your time and energy!
Stick With It
The second part of this action is: whatever you do, be sure you stick with it and do it consistently and aggressively every week, every month, and throughout the year. For any marketing to work, know that when you start it, you must commit to staying with the program through the year and not just when you need the business. Whether this is a traditional advertisement
that you buy or some of the other, more creative marketing strategies mentioned above, make sure you can stay with it because all marketing takes some time to get traction. When I plan a public relations campaign or an advertising campaign, I look at the cost of running that program for the year, not for a week or month.
Now is the time to hammer into the marketplace with cost effective marketing plans to advance and conquer and let the world know who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer. Now is not the time to retreat. Let the rest of the world retreat and disappear! Let the rest of the world contract to the point that they no longer exist. Expand your communication, be seen and known and in this way you will DOMINATE your market!