So Successful I Stopped Doing It…
I see it on a regular basis—particularly around sales and marketing. A business owner has a process that is working well but they get bored and stop doing it. Or they feel like they have to get more creative and jazz it up just enough so it is no longer effective. Even worse, it works so well and they get so busy because of it, that they stop.
Here are some examples:
. A business owner used to get a client for every 23 promotional items that went out with a follow up phone call. The acquisition cost was 1/10th of their normal acquisition cost. You guessed it; he stopped doing it and turned his sights to social media. So far, no results.
. Another owner opted out of the annual chamber trade show. The first few times they did it, they landed a client each time at 1/2 of their normal acquisition cost. So of course, instead of going to the show this year they are working on how to bring up Yelp.
. Another client has stopped managing their database that tells them when to call (yes, call) old prospects and is instead putting their energy into an email newsletter.
. Here’s a good one. A car repair shop owner advertised they would install free wiper blades when you had any work done on your vehicle. New customers lined up out the door. He stopped doing it because he was too busy.
. Last one, a client, a bakery store owner, gave away free eclairs. You didn’t even need to purchase a thing. Before doing this, the average acquisition cost of obtaining a new customer was $13. This éclair cost 33 cents. When 17 people came in for the free éclair 16 of them bought something else; one took off with the freebie. They were so busy they had to stop until they added additional staff to handle the onslaught. They did start back after some urging on my part.
Now this might sound like a blast against social media, or e-marketing or even common business sense. Trust me it is not. I love new marketing methods and just about anything new that gets a business noticed. What I am suggesting is that it doesn’t replace the old methods—it simply ads to them.
If something is working, my suggestion is to keep doing it until it doesn’t work. Then retool it and remeasure the result before tossing it out for good.
Marketing is the straw that stirs the drink for every business, and just because there is a new shiny object out there, it doesn’t mean you should abandon something that is working. The thought is “both not either”. Additionally, marketing, or lead generation, is the most overlooked measureable opportunity that business owners miss. Sure they know the cost of producing their widget or providing their service but very few, and I do mean very few, business owners know their cost of acquiring a new client. When you know what it costs for a new prospect to actually buy from you AND when you learn how to lower that cost, then and only then is marketing an investment and not an expense.
Likewise, have more than just one way to get folks the raise their hand and say they are interested in what you offer. If one way starts to slow down or even fail, they you still have several other methods that are working until you get this one fixed or replaced.
Take action today on developing your marketing materials and knowing your acquisition cost on every marketing activity and then Go Run a Lap!! Business is Fun!!
Tony Marder is a Gastonia resident and President of ASM Ventures Corporation. He is a specialist in preparing strategic business plans for family businesses ready to grow and need investor funding. Tony is a certified business coach. You can reach him for questions or comments at email@example.com