Sales – A Wake Up Call: Part 2 was a well-placed "Kick-in-the-arse" delivered to the Boss. You know who you are – don't be bashful. You are the folks who we look to when all hell breaks loose. It is, after all, your fault.
Now, moving on to some tips for the Marketers:
1. Stop reading pamphlets.
- Please stop thinking every new trend will save your ass.
- You know when Total Quality Management was the buzz in the last recession over 70% of companies that went bankrupt listed TQM as their #1 priority. Yeah, well #1 to me is doing your damn job.
2. There is no secret cure. There is no quick fix.
- Everything is hard to do. And more importantly everything worth doing takes hard work.
- If something is too good to be true – it is!
3. Like above - a baseball game is won by getting on base. FIRST BASE!!!
- Home runs are great – but no one wins a pennant with just home runs.
- Really focus on your core strengths – make 'em better and treat every customer like they are your ONLY customer.
4. That insecure feeling you get everyday at the office is good for you – it will keep you in your place.
- You know that feeling. Wake up and wonder if today is the day they will finally find out just how much of a fraud you are? Yeah, we all feel that – get over it. If you stopped thinking about yourself as the centre of the universe, you might actually get your job done.
5. Yep, you are the KING or Queen of toothpaste – but get over it too. No one else but you gives a shit!
- Funny thing about marketing – it really is "Where the rubber meets the air!" Let's not get carried away here – you are responsible for a brand and probably not that great a brand. In fact, probably a real shitty trade brand like a valve. Just do your job. When you go to the bank with your paycheck the teller isn't judging you on your brand. Just deposit the check – do your job. Your job is to sell a ton of valves.
6. Your competitor is probably as confused as you are – so stop worrying about them.
- I said in the Boss diatribe that "It ain't what ya don't know that will screw ya – it's what ya know that ain't so" … well, same goes for you.
- Being aware of the landscape is critical. Being paranoid is stupid.
7. Shut up once and a while. Keep some stuff secret. Play it close to the vest. Ya never know!
- I always liked the idea that I had something up my sleeve – just in case. That is tough to do if you (Metaphor alert) play your Bowers first. (Euchre alert as well!) Leave 'em wanting a bit – and try and keep your mouth shut.
- – Everyone loves the strong silent type – heavy on the silent!
8. Marketing drives business. Sales drives revenue. And accountants drive us nuts.
- Accounting strategy when times get hard if often: "Hey! We need money! SELL A DESK!"
- Just nod at them. Play nice. They know not what they do. You, on the other hand, have to know.
- You are the change/adapt/plan person. Drive the change.
- Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way
9. There is nothing worse than the wrong message to the right audience. Except maybe the right message to the wrong audience.
- Please please please – get a good agency. One that has a vertebrae.
- I know you would love some sycophant grovelling at your feet 24/7 – who wouldn't? Oh, yeah – your customers.
- Your customers would like great ads, great DM, great Web, Great Social Media. They want amazing products with USPs the size of the Ohio!!! Oh and they want it cheap… and now… and guaranteed for life – and they want that product to make 'em feel like a million samolies!!!
- Get an agency – the good ones are trained in dealing with your psychoses.
10. When you have to find fat to cut, don’t cut anything that will effect sales.
- Lose the Christmas shindig – but don’t stop the trade ads. If ya have to cut, cut the size of the ad not the frequency.
- Cost containment is an art.
- Watch what has to go – if you throw out your power adaptor, your laptop may not work.
- Always check what is connected to what you are going to cut off! "Make like a Mohel!"
11. Ask. Always ask. Everyone has an opinion. Ask them. That is called research.
- Get input from the shop floor, from the street, from the Web, from your father-in-law (especially if he owns the company and hired ya!)
- Be careful what you do with all the info – but take it gratefully and use it wisely.
12. Don't be afraid.
- If you are constantly wanting to get stuff perfect like 10 out of 10 before you launch – you will get run over by your competitor as they launch at 8 out of 10.
- Make it so, #1.
As marketers, it is YOU that is supposed to be smart. Don't disappoint us.
Stayed tuned for Part 4: advice for the sales folks.
Photo credit: Sale In A Sale Shop Selling Sale Signs by the justified sinner