We all want to do more business development – more marketing & sales – because we know it’s important for the health of our firms. And yet we don’t.
Why is that? Why are we rarely implementing marketing & sales at a level and frequency that we wished we were? What’s holding us back?
I think these hesitations fall into one of four categories:
#1. Lack of dollars. Whether you truly don’t have the money – or are just unwilling to spend it – you point to budget constraints as the cause for your lack of business development efforts. And while certain marketing & sales tactics do require an outlay of cash (exhibiting at a conference or advertising, for example) many can be done with little or no expenditures (think social media marketing, email marketing, content development or just picking up the phone to call a former client).
#2. Lack of time. The primary cause of the feast-or-famine cycles you often find yourself in. When you’re busy, you believe you don’t have the time to get marketing & sales implemented. Which then results in a drop in business when the current projects end… which gives you the time to do a little marketing & sales… which [hopefully] makes you busy again… and so on… and so on. The fact is, there are a number of proven marketing & sales tactics that require only minutes a day to execute and generate results. And if you say you don’t have a few minutes a day, I’ll call “B.S.” and suggest you may have other issues at play (see #3 and #4 below).
#3. Don’t know how. You’re a specialist in a certain market research discipline… let’s say it’s ‘ethnographic research.’ You studied sociology in undergrad and maybe even grad school. You’ve been through other training programs to hone your ethnographic research skills. And you’re great at it. But marketing & sales just aren’t in your wheelhouse – you’re not sure how to plan for, execute or measure them. And so, they are left un-done. If you fall into this category, your best options are to “go back to school” (read marketing blogs, attend webinars, go to conferences, etc.) to develop some new skills, hire someone to help (even if only part-time) or outsource it to firm whose business is marketing & sales.
#4. Don’t want to/like to. Marketing & sales – especially sales – are not everyone’s cup of tea. Even if you have the money, time and skills… they’re just not something you don’t want or like to do. It’s a lot like bookkeeping for many business owners – they know it needs to get done, but they hate to do it themselves. If that’s the case, consider some of the advice from #3 above – hire someone to help (even if only part-time) or outsource it to firm whose business is marketing & sales. The difference here is that if you do that – and assuming you have some acumen in this area – you’re in a better position to manage those you bring on to do it.
So, where do you fall on this issue? When you don’t achieve the level of marketing & sales activity for your firm that you want to – what’s your obstacle?
Take our 2-question, anonymous survey and let us know…
We’ll share the results in a future blog post.
Thanks, in advance, for your feedback.