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Too Little Too Late?

We talk to many companies that are under stress. Revenues are down. Prospects are disappearing. And so there's a lot of pressure to turn things around. Many of these companies naturally decide to shed their marginal performers (in Sales and/or Marketing in particular) which is the right thing to do. And then they'll try to reinvest some of the money they saved by outsourcing some of their Marketing, which is also the right thing to do; i.e. filling the funnel, and figuring that management can close it.

The problem is that the strategies they're using won't work.

For example, many companies will turn to cold calling to beat the bushes, and try to scare up whatever business might still be out there. But then they run into the problem that the markets have shrunk. (Remember what we just said, above?) So while they may find some business that would have previously fallen through the cracks, there won't be much of it. And it likely won't close at anything near a compensatory margin, assuming it does close. In the meantime, you'll have wasted months of time and a few thousand dollars, and not saved your business or your job.

(By the way, if you're like most people, you'll of course try to do it as cheaply as possible, further decreasing the chances of success. But that's another story altogether.)

You might also try to be creative with, say, social media marketing or LinkedIn. But with the economy shrinking at 33% per year, how likely do you think it will be that your message will even be seen? We recently determined that over 35% of our non-owner contacts on LinkedIn are now unemployed. (Remember what else we just said above?) Anyone who's active on LinkedIn is either looking for a job, or looking to sell you something. So trying to pitch them will result in more time wasted, and - once again - you'll not have saved your business or your job.

So what works? First, as you can imagine, good targeting is more important now than ever. Knowing where to fish is half the battle. But you have to be willing to invest in market research. Call it what you want: data mining, list research, intent marketing, or reading tarot cards. If you're not willing to invest in doing the work it takes to find the opportunities, you might as well adopt Brownian Brain Movement as your go-to-market strategy.

Second, you have to be really creative as to how you reach out to prospects. They're out there. But getting your message in front of them, and having it be perceived as relevant and helpful, is a huge challenge - one that most companies fail at miserably. And if you don't know how to do it, good luck to you.

Anyway, how do you know that we know how to do these things?

You're reading this, aren't you?

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