I had coffee last week with the principals from a small, local firm. Been around several years, reasonably successful… and doing virtually nothing to grow their business.
What their inactivity boiled down to – and it applies to pretty much all small firms – is that everyone there wears a bunch of hats, most of which have to do with taking care of clients. I get it. And it’s not that they don’t want to grow their business, the problem is that no one is dedicated to marketing & sales and no one allocates much (if any) time to the firm’s growth. Consequently, not much growth is going on.
So we talked about some things they could do in the short term and it all boiled down to following 4 marketing & sales guidelines:
- Someone must be responsible for planning and executing your business development efforts (even if it’s only a small part of what they do). You must have a “go to” person with business development as a defined part of his or her job description… and he or she must be held accountable to it.
- The “go to” person must carve out some time every week to work on marketing & sales. What we talked about over coffee, for example, was blocking off the first hour of the day – three days each week. No phone calls, no emails, cell phone turned off… and focus! Think about it… 3 uninterrupted hours every week is a decent amount of time – and will add up in a hurry!
- Consistency and repeatability are key. Whatever you decide to do… a 1-time hit will not be successful. But do it over and over again and the cumulative effect is where the magic occurs. E.g. If you decide that email marketing is a good idea… how much traction are you going to get with just one or two emails? To be successful, you’ll need to implement an on-going campaign, the repeated exposure driving client and prospect engagement.
- Keep your enthusiasm in check. Don’t take on too much because you’re so excited to get started. It’s better do 3 or 4 things really well, than to deliver a half-hearted attempt with 10 or 20.
It’s an old, but true saying… a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The same thing applies to your marketing & sales efforts. Get a little bit done everyday… and you’ll be amazed how far you’ll go in just a few months! Enjoy the journey.