- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 2
- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 1
- 5½ [behind-the-scenes] Marketing & Sales Activities You Need To Do in December
- Got something to say?
- Running a small firm? Who holds you accountable?
- Marketing & Sales Success Begins with a Simple Step… Thinking!
- Your Sales Forecast Doesn’t Have to be a Guessing Game!
- Lead generation is a 3-step process.
- Measuring Sales… it’s Not just about Revenue
- 7 Selling Behaviors Seller-Doers Must Employ to be Successful.
- Can you really be “all things to all people?”
- 12 Marketing & Sales Activities you Gotta STOP this Year!
- How to maximize the impact of your marketing investment.
- Revenue Growth? Try the ‘5% Challenge’… it’s Brilliant!
- Should you ever walk away from revenue?
- Get Ready for 2017 with these 6 Marketing & Sales Activities
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 2
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 1
- 10 Guidelines for How to Be Successful at Sales
- Strategy Before Tactics!
- 6 Marketing & Sales Lessons Learned in our First 4 Years in Business
- The Sales Presentation: Stop Reading the PowerPoint Slides and Tell Your Story
- Content Marketing not working? Eh, don’t worry about it!
- Marketing Measurement: 3 New Methods You Have to Try in 2016
- The One Thing You Must Include in Your 2016 Marketing & Sales Plan
- Not using LinkedIn? Are you kidding me?!
- Is it OK to fire a client?
- Take Charge of Your Own Success… Stop Relying on Others!
- Getting first-time clients to take a chance on you.
- 9 Ways to Build your Business During the Summer Slowdown
- The Top 10 Ways to Build Awareness
- The 13 Most Common Website Mistakes
- The Most Important Part of Exhibiting
- Content marketing isn’t a one-time thing… it’s an all-the-time thing.
- THINKING! A framework for creating better business plans in 2015.
- Not happy with your marketing & sales? Then make just one change in 2015!
- For Beginners: Should I Tweet Daily? Yes… and here’s how.
- Got your Marketing Plan for 2015? No?! Now’s a good time to start…
- How to Connect with Booth Visitors – An Exhibitor’s Worksheet
- Not getting the email results you want? Make sure you’re following these 7 email marketing guidelines.
- 10 Ways to Get Clients to Sell FOR You (and they won’t cost a dime!)
- Do you know where you’re going? Why Strategy should drive your marketing & sales.
- 11 execution tips to help you exceed client expectations
- How to Turn First-time Clients into Repeat Clients
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 2
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 1
- 13 Lessons for Researchers Who Don’t Want (or Like) to Sell
- Social media marketing success in 30 minutes a day
- Get it right! You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
- It’s not that complicated! A common sense approach to the marketing & sales process.
- How MR firms are blowing it with new customers: Lessons learned while secret shopping
- Management or sales… you can’t serve two masters.
- Prove it! Nine ways to convince prospects to work with you for the first time.
- Five everyday ways to grow your business
- How that ‘one great client’ could doom your firm
- Six marketing and sales mistakes MR firms make every day
- Eight proven ways to build awareness – and why you should!
- Suspects, Prospects and Clients: Is your firm focused on the right target?
- A Checklist for Conducting Your Own Marketing & Sales Audit
- Learning to play the game: What football can teach us about marketing
- Differentiating your firm in a crowded marketplace
- 25 low- or no-cost ways to grow your business
- 15 Reasons E-mail Still Matters in Sales and Marketing
- Come prepared, dress the part and follow up: 10 dos for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- No rookies, no gum and no Frisbees: 10 don’ts for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- How to see yourself as clients see you
- Marketing 101: It takes Work to make it Work
- Use the 8 Ps of Marketing when Setting Strategy
- Integrate the 4 As of Marketing into Your Planning
- Size Does Matter: 4 Approaches to Growing Your Business
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 2)
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 1)
Marketing & Sales Success Begins with a Simple Step… Thinking!
Consider this… nearly every key business process involves three fundamental steps: Think – Plan – Do.
Think: You gather together all of the key players that will be involved in the particular issue. Then you brainstorm, discuss, vet ideas and then settle on a final concept, idea or direction.
Plan: With the direction set, a plan is developed to manage the execution. The plan provides instructions for what needs to be done, by whom, by when and for how much money.
Do: Then finally, you get to work… using the Plan to guide the execution.
And the most important part of the process? The Thinking phase! Why? Because it lays the foundation and sets the direction for everything to follow. It drives the process toward achieving your goals. Without it, you’re rudderless.
A good example of the Think-Plan-Do process is in the building out of new office space…
Think: You sit down with an architect or space planner, discuss what you need now, what you might need in the future and perhaps, what didn’t work so well in the past.
Plan: The architect then takes all of that input, goes back to the office and, ultimately, delivers a set of construction documents for your new space.
Do: With blueprints in hand from the architect, the construction foreman helps his team to build out your new office space.
Now imagine what would happen here if you were to skip the Thinking phase. Yes, you’d get your office space, but would it work for you? Would it be laid out properly? Would the space planner have drawn in the right number of offices and cubicles? Did they remember the server room for your computer system? And so on.
As you might suspect, that same kind of thinking must be applied to your marketing & sales efforts, as well. Sadly though, that rarely happens.
Based on our observations in the Market Research industry, most firms just jump right into the Doing phase, executing on certain tactics so they can feel like they’re accomplishing something. Sometimes there is a basic marketing & sales Plan created… but there is almost never any serious time spent in the Thinking phase.
And the results of skipping the Thinking part of the marketing & sales process?
- Messaging that misses the mark.
- A perception of being just like every other firm.
- A lack of awareness in the market you serve.
- New no leads for the pipeline.
- Services that never seem to grab a foothold.
- And so on.
So, before you go to market with any business development efforts, do what the company above did when planning their new office space… spend some time Thinking.
Gather together all of the appropriate constituents to discuss, brainstorm and vet out all of your marketing & sales ideas. If you have any relevant data – revenue history, sales activity, customer sat. #s, etc. – bring it to the meeting, as well. Talk about what’s happening in your business, in the Market Research industry and in the industries you serve. Discuss your services and your targeted buyers. Consider the competition.
Now, with all of the facts on the table, take as much time as you need to talk through it all and make well-founded strategic decisions. Once you’ve done that, it become an order of magnitude easier to create the marketing & sales plan and then execute on that plan.
Bottom line: As 2017 starts winding down and you start the planning for your 2018 marketing & sales program, remember to begin by thinking strategically. Don’t just “wing it”… be thoughtful and purposeful in your efforts. I promise… your results will be proportional to the “think” time you invested.
Want to explore strategic thinking a bit more? Harpeth Marketing’s Founder & President, Steve Henke, will be speaking on the topic at GreenBook’s Insight Marketing Day, November 9th in Chicago. To learn more about this important industry event, go to: https://imd-chicago.insightinnovation.org/