Executive Wisdom Monthly Newsletter No.92: Marketing Wisely

Ponderances – Marketing Wisely

Time is a limited resource. We cannot make more time—we know that—we can only prioritise our activity in the available time. I have 24 hours in a day the same as do you, the grocer, butcher, and CEO. A lawyer and an accountant, independent of each other, told me they didn’t have the time to market and could I help with advertising strategies. I answered in the negative. I did explain that I could help them prioritise their time and develop effective strategies to supercharge their marketing results.

The first step is to recognise and steer clear of low priority items, matters and events:

  • Gatekeepers: unless they can introduce you to genuine economic buyers quickly.
  • RFPs and Tenders: these are merely using you as fodder for auditions to do something they need, for no commensurate return to your business.
  • Low-level HR officers: those who have no credibility and pride themselves on extracting the lowest price from vendors irrespective of quality or value. (Intelligent HR people know that price is not the only indicator and discern the difference between cheap and ROI.)
  • Purchasing managers: who, like the HR officers above, only see dollars and not results.

Recognise the genuine buyers and build relationships with those people. You can identify them by reason that they do not need approval from anyone else to proceed. They do not have committees who will vote on your proposal, and they know the answers to your business questions. They can authorise your fees and agree to payment terms and conditions. They don’t quote you against competing proposals as they’re acutely aware that they are responsible for results and return on investment (ROI).

As professional service providers, we are in the marketing business. Hence, you must continually be:

  • Attracting clients through a systemised process such as Willmot’s Marketing Whirlpool
  • Meeting prospective clients and establishing relationships—social media will not, on its own, sell professional services
  • Creating conceptual agreement
  • Offering options on how clients can engage with you and what definitive next steps they should take
  • Nurturing client relationships after they have become clients

These are far better uses of your time and will afford you more available time because of the success they generate. Time is money. Kairos, the son of Zeus, exemplified the use of your time wisely in doing the right things, in the right way, at the right time, while seeking to take advantage of every opportunity.

Growing Your Business – We cannot afford to compete on price

Hardly anyone has deep enough pockets to compete in a long-term price war. Most people don’t appreciate this fact. They believe they have no option but to fight on price. The opposite is true; they cannot afford to compete on price.

Rather than blending in with the crowd, we need to stand out from the mosaic and be recognised for something more than price. The quality and diversity of service offerings are apparent. Every client will want a bargain, but few quality clients are willing to sacrifice value.


Initially published August 2012