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March 27, 2018

For Sales & Marketing Success: Finish What You Start

One of the first questions I ask during an initial exploratory call with a prospective client is, “What kind of marketing and sales are you doing now?” And I generally get the kind of answers you’d expect…

  • “We blog once or twice a month.”
  • “We network at conferences.”
  • “We send out a monthly e-newsletter.”
  • “We’re all on LinkedIn.”

And so on.

And it all sounds pretty good on the surface, but once I dig a little deeper, I find that even though many of these firms have taken the first step… they rarely finish what they start. For example…

The Start:

“We blog once or twice a month.”

The Finish:

They’re not effectively promoting their blog posts to drive eyeballs to them, meaning they are getting far fewer readers of their content than they could be… so the ability of their writing to impact the perception of their firm as a Subject Matter Expert or Thought Leader is dramatically weakened.

The Start:

“We network at conferences.”

The Finish:

Even if they send a “nice meeting you” follow-up email to everyone they met at a conference, that’s usually where it stops. What they’re not doing is consistently staying in touch over time. Buying decisions in our industry take a while… and if they don’t stay in touch (to stay top-of-mind), they won’t be thought of when the prospective client is ready to buy.

The Start:

“We send out a monthly e-newsletter.”

The Finish:

They’re not tracking the metrics (which are available at the click of a button). Which means they’re not learning what kind of subject lines get the best ‘open rates’ or what kind of content gets the most ‘click-thrus.’ So, they have no idea if their email efforts are working or not… they just keep on sending them out (and keeping their fingers crossed).

The Start:

“We’re all on LinkedIn.”

The Finish:

They’re not engaging with all that LinkedIn has to offer. They’re not proactively reaching out to connect with others, they’re not commenting on or ‘liking’ other’s posts and they’re not posting or publishing their own content… all of which means they’re not building relationships or building a reputation with the LinkedIn community. Opportunity lost.

And it doesn’t end there. There are all kinds of additional examples…

  • They run one ad – not a campaign – trying to raise the level of awareness of their firm, but it’s a campaign’s multiple impressions over time that can actually impact awareness.
  • They focus their marketing & sales on acquiring new clients but spend very little effort on retaining existing ones. And it’s repeat clients that are necessary for long-term success.
  • They create a sales & marketing plan that ends up just sitting on the shelf, instead of being the day-to-day guide for revenue growth.
  • And so on… and so on…

The point is this… wherever you are now with your marketing & sales program, consider yourself off to a good start! But to achieve a significant level of success, you must complete your journey… you must finish what you start.

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