The Competitive Advantage

tag: management

April 30, 2014

Stop making excuses about your [lack of] marketing & sales, Part 3

Handcuffs 304Do you know the phrase, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse?” Of course, we all do.

Coincidentally, the same rule applies to your business… that is, just because you might not know how to do marketing & sales doesn’t mean you can just ignore them. And you know you can’t. But you’re smart… you run or manage a business… so you have to figure it out – and that’s what this post is about.

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April 24, 2014

Stop making excuses about your [lack of] marketing & sales, Part 2

man-with-no-money-in-his-pockets-1Last week we started a 3-part series on the excuses business owners and managers use to “explain away” their lack of marketing & sales activity (and success). In it, we addressed the most common excuse for not embracing marketing & sales in an organization – “no time.”

Following closely on the heels of that is “no money!”


“I don’t have the money!” is really code for one of the real excuses:

  • “We’re too small to spend anything on marketing & sales.”
  • “Business is bad/declining and we really don’t have any money to spend on business development.”
  • “I might spend some money… but I don’t know what works and what doesn’t.”
  • “All marketing is expensive, isn’t it?”
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April 16, 2014

Stop making excuses about your [lack of] marketing & sales, Part 1

There’s a line from one of my wife’s favorite old movies, Working Girl (Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith) where Ford’s character says, “The players may have changed, but the game remains the same…”

I think of that every time I hear someone from our industry gripe about why they don’t embrace marketing & sales.  And it doesn’t matter who I’m talking with, they all complain about the same things… always boiling down to one of three issues:

  • “I’m just too busy to spend any time on it.”
  • “I don’t have any money to spend on it.”
  • “I don’t know what to do… or how to do it.”
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April 1, 2014

Don’t hire a sales rep until you’re ready… and most firms in MR aren’t!

Confident happy business woman with coworkers in the backgroundIn the discovery process with new clients, we talk about the kinds of things they’ve done in the past to help grow their businesses.  One of the statements that seems to be made by nearly every firm in the Market Research industry is, “We hired a sales rep back in [insert date years ago], but it didn’t work out… and haven’t had one since.”  Why is that?

While “below-goal sales” may have been the rationale for the sales reps’ dismissal, much of the lack of a sales rep’s success is often the fault of the MR firm itself.  And it generally boils down to one of four things…

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January 8, 2014

The 3 Basic Principles of the Customer Experience

My wife and I just finished going through the process of deciding which health insurance we wanted for 2014.  Believe it or not, even with all of the “stuff” going on right now related to health insurance, the process actually started out just fine.  And then the wheels fell off.

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January 2, 2014

Track your revenue this year… really track it!

Ah… the start of a new year.  The excitement.  The possibilities.  The same ol’ stuff?!

Before you can decide where you want to go, you need to understand where you’ve been… and the following little exercise can help you leverage the past to think more effectively and more strategically about the future of your firm.

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December 4, 2013

“Should we send holiday gifts to clients?”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is one of those questions that always stirs up a lot of additional questions within businesses.

What do we send?”  “How much to spend?”  “Who do we send them to – all clients or just our largest ones?”  “Do we send them to individual contacts or just one per client?”  “What about past clients or sales prospects?”

“Can we afford to send them this year?”  “Are there any religious or cultural implications?”  “Who do they come from – the executive team, sales, marketing or the project managers?”  “Do we also send holiday cards?”

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November 19, 2013

Frequency vs. Quality: The Content Marketing Balancing Act

Guest blogger: Debra Semans, Lead Writer at Harpeth Marketing

Vince-Lombardi-3Content is King!


  • Companies that blog 15 or more times per month get five times more traffic than companies that don’t blog at all.
  • Small businesses (1-10 employees) tend to see the biggest gains in traffic when they publish more articles.
  • Companies that increase blogging from 3-5 times/month to 6-8 times/month almost double their leads.
  • Even B2B companies that blog only 1-2 times/month generate 70% more leads than those that don’t blog at all.
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