Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Not The Economy, It's You

There is simply too much whining going on out there about the economy. A couple of days ago, I heard on the radio that unemployment in the county I live in is 8.1 percent. Flip that around and over 90% of the people that want to work are working!

I have also seen businesses wait, stall, try and preserve what they have and be cautious. Many of them will lose because of this attitude. The problem with many of them is that they are clueless when it comes to marketing and so they do stupid things.

Take a look at this example:

Another Closed Business. And Another Example of Crappy Marketing

President Obama has encouraged us to “be accountable and responsible” in our lives. So since he’s my President now, I’m taking that to heart. But I’m also encouraging my clients and other businesses to do the same.

Recently, I drove by a retail lighting store that had bitten the dust. No doubt they will blame the economy — and some banker is probably holding the bag for thousands. Yet, was it really the economy’s fault?


You see, I remember going into that store last year for two sconce lights. When I walked in, I was impressed with the inventory. (When you’re 6′5″ and walk into a lighting store, you can basically ‘feel every light.’)

But as I looked for someone to help me, there was no one there. Only one guy working with one customer. So I waited. And waited. And waited. Never did he acknowledge me–or say, “Sir, I’ll be with you in a minute.” Nor was there any sign-in sheet at the front register where I could have registered my grievance and in so doing give him a chance to call back and make it right.


So I walked out and never went back. And since that day, I never saw any advertising or marketing from that store at all. Zip.

Those Who Beat Themselves Should Please Stop Whining

So I can only assume that the economy didn’t beat them. They beat themselves. The beat themselves because their sales and marketing sucked. The Big Three are failing because their products are not in demand–and haven’t been for decades.

Your business may be failing as well. But before it does, ask yourself a question. “Am I investing all I need to invest in sales and marketing? You probably aren’t.

No, I don’t mean the same old crap that doesn’t work anymore–direct mail, billboards, media buys. At least it hasn’t worked for most B2B businesses.

Your Customers Are Gold. Treat Them That Way.

Are you treating your current clients like gold? Are you giving them first shot at new products? Are you asking for referrals? Are you doing anything creative at all–like customer events, new client seminars, webinars?

Or are you just hunkered down in your same old-fashioned, worn out sales and marketing approach that will never work again?

If you are, I feel sorry for you. Your time is limited. You might be able to weather it if you have a lot of money banked away. Unfortunately, most don’t.

BUT, if you’re beginning to think differently about sales and marketing…if you are subscribing to blogs/podcasts/and other online content…if you really are committed to growing during bad times… then you will prosper beyond your wildest dreams.

As I’ve said before, recessions have great ways of hammering those that are not accountable and responsible — and thinning out those who were on treacherous ground anyway.

Now, if we could just get the government to be accountable and responsible, we’d make real progress!

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: