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The Competitive Advantage

tag: strategy

June 16, 2020

The Best Marketing Strategy? “Try It and See!”

While there have been a few remakes over the years… many of us remember the very first Life Cereal commercial featuring ‘Mikey’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgB25WBeBxA) which debuted in 1990. It features a couple of young brothers who didn’t know what to expect from a new breakfast cereal their parents gave them. So, they pass it on to their little brother, Mikey, who – to no one’s surprise – tries it and likes it!

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June 9, 2020

Marketing & Sales During the Pandemic: Invest or Wait-n-See?

I’ve talked with a lot of business owners in our industry over the past few months, and every firm falls into one of just two buckets… those that are actively investing in marketing & sales during the pandemic and those that are standing pat and taking a wait-and-see stance.

And by ‘invest,’ I don’t necessarily mean money (though a little of that wouldn’t hurt)… I’m talking about a commitment to an active marketing & sales initiative. To spend the time and effort to make it happen… and then to stick with it.

You can easily guess which side I come down on, but not because marketing & sales are the businesses we’re in… but because it really is the smart thing to do.

And here’s why…

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March 1, 2020

“But we’re a really good partner.”

3 Steps to True Big-Client Partnerships

I had a conversation last week with a friend of mine, the well-known CEO of a large market research firm. He was telling me about the time when he first joined his firm and, as part of his onboarding, reviewed their top 10 clients. One of them was a Fortune 100 company, a manufacturer of consumer food & beverage products… a brand known around the world. He was excited to learn that this company was his firm’s largest client and that his firm was a “good partner” to them.

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December 3, 2019

This Seller-Doer Sales Strategy is Right in Your Own Backyard

Let me start with a few questions. As a seller-doer…

#1. Do you live in or near a fairly large city? [Everyone in NY, Chicago, Atlanta, LA and even in places like Nashville & Baltimore are putting their hands up in the air.]

#2. Do you have clients or potential clients (i.e. sales prospects) based nearby? [Most of the hands stay up.]

Final question. Have you visited any of those clients or prospects, in-person, in the past 3 months? [That sound you hear is all of the hands dropping.]

Why is that? Why would we not visit nearby “business opportunities” in-person?

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November 20, 2019

Their marketing worked! This time.

I needed a new part for my truck. The armrest was busted and I needed a new piece to fix it. I asked my mechanic about replacing the entire armrest, but was a little appalled at the cost of a new one. And I didn’t know quite where to go to find a piece as specific as the underside plate for an armrest in a Ford truck.

Then, in a huge stroke of luck/coincidence, I saw an ad on TV for a place called RockAuto. So, I went to their website, found the part, ordered it, the part showed up a few days later… boom! The advertising worked for them.

Sort of.

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October 15, 2019

Part 2: Hard selling inside of LinkedIn? Stop it, stop it, stop it!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on how NOT to use LinkedIn in your sales efforts (read it here). It was one of our most popular posts all year. Evidently, I’m not the only one who hates hard-sell pitches on LinkedIn.

In a happy coincidence, I was telling a client contact about this post… and she told me a story about how she is using LinkedIn in a friendly, non-salesy and effective way. Here’s what she’s doing…

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September 24, 2019

Not sure what sort of customer experience you deliver? Just ask!

Here’s a short [true] story about an incredibly effective way to understand what sort of ‘customer experience’ your firm is delivering to the marketplace…

We subscribe to a webinar platform called WebinarNinja… and have been a client of theirs for just under three years. It’s proven to be a very good platform for our webinar program and workshops. WebinarNinja is one of those fast-growing tech companies, led by a sharp and energetic leader. In this case, his name is Omar Zenhom.

One of the risks when running a growing company is getting pulled in a lot of different directions and, as a result, slowly becoming ‘distanced’ from your clients. Losing touch with them. Getting so wrapped up in dealing with all of that other ownership and management ‘stuff,’ that you become disconnected from what made you successful in the first place… those clients.

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September 10, 2019

The 5 Strategic Questions You Must Answer for Success in 2020

The end of 2019 is in sight. And as it nears, wandering minds turn to the future… and what’s going to happen next year.

As a result, over the next few months, many firms will convene their annual gathering around the conference table and talk about what they want to do in 2020 to grow their business. Unfortunately, these meetings seem to end the same way every year, with a bold directive from the boss… something like, “We want a 20% increase in sales next year… now go get ‘em!” And while that might rally the troops a little (though, I doubt it), it doesn’t provide any real direction or guidance for making that happen.

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