Did you know that there are only three ways to increase your business. You can:
- gain new clients
- increase the average spend of your existing clients, or
- increase the frequency of buying of your existing clients
While working for Chet Holmes and Tony Robbins, I would speak with business owner’s day in and day out; dozens and dozens of them every week. As I interviewed them to try and understand them and their challenges better; a common theme came to light. The overwhelming majority of them told me that their phones have just stopped ringing. That they were seeing cutbacks from their top customers and new business had come to a virtual halt. A very complex and disheartening situation indeed.
As I dug a bit deeper with them, a very interesting conundrum was common with most of them. They told me that they had cut, if not totally ceased their marketing efforts. They pulled out of yellow pages; cut back, or totally cut, their sales force; stopped direct mail efforts; quit associations they had previously been members of; etc.
They blamed the retrenching on the administration, the economy, their competitors, their employee’s, the alignment of the planets; frankly, just about anything they could think of, rather than placing the blame squarely where it belonged: On their shoulders!! The scary thing is that they didn’t even recognize the correlation between their cutbacks to their marketing programs and the corresponding negative trends of their business. They felt that they just couldn’t afford to do marketing anymore and had these other reasons which they could pass the blame on to.
I propose to you that just the opposite is required in this market. The smart businesses are indeed increasing their marketing efforts and gaining in market share in their marketplace. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending more money either.
The bottom line though is that this is exactly the time to INCREASE YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS!! Businesses are going out of business in record numbers and you have a choice to join that trend and go out of business, or to see this time in our history as one of the most incredible opportunities to expand and grow.
Use attraction marketing strategies and watch your pipeline and bank account grow. Partner with other local businesses; expand your geographic footprint; get better at holding on to your valued business and expanding your existing clients; get more referrals; hire sales people; create superior access vehicles/attraction marketing devices; and get creative with your promotional product giveaways.
At the same time you should be increasing your own marketing efforts to become the top authority in your field and gain TOMA. You don’t have to spend money either to gain TOMA. Enhancing your credibility and creating an aura of authority about yourself is fairly easy to do. This approach will also put you in a great position to get other people to pay for your marketing efforts. That’s right!! Let me say it again, you can get others to pay for your marketing!!!!
An extremely interesting statistic I ran into while working for Chet and Tony was that a 2009 study found more than half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list were launched during a recession or bear market. This study was sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation.
Stop the blame game and get creative. Find ways to increase each of the three ways of increasing business.
Do whatever it takes right now to gain as much market share as possible. Utilize an education based approach, become THE authority in your marketplace, get others to pay for your marketing, and when the economy does take a turn for the better you will be well positioned to see your business absolutely take off.
I’ll watch for you on the Fortune 500!!!!