Wednesday, December 3, 2014


In the press of day-to-day business, it's easy to fall into a pattern of reaction about marketing and sales. Email and phone calls arrive and you answer them. Opportunities are presented to you, and you act on them. A marketing project occurs to you, and you begin working on it. Does this sound familiar? Is operating in this reactive way producing the results you want in your business?

If not, it's time to stop and intentionally break the pattern. Set aside half a day, or at least a couple of hours first thing in the morning, to review how your marketing and sales are going. Because we typically spend more time looking at what's wrong than at what's right, break that pattern, too. Start by looking at what is working for you in marketing.

Ask yourself questions like these:

  • Where are most of my clients coming from?
  • What marketing activities do I enjoy engaging in?
  • Which of my clients or client projects are my favorites?
  • Where in marketing and sales am I using my personal strengths?
  • When my sales or marketing is successful, what makes that possible?

When you have a list of eight to ten items that seem to be working for you, use them as a guide to diagnose what isn't working as well as it could. Here are some of the discoveries you might make:

  • Where clients come from — Many of my clients discover that the majority of their business comes from personal referrals. Meanwhile, they are putting a great deal of effort into social media, tweaking their website, or attending large networking events with minimal follow-up. When they change how they use their marketing time to better match what brings the most clients, business improves.
  • What you enjoy — A colleague of mine loves producing events. It gives her a feeling of affinity and connection when people show up at her invitation and she can provide them with knowledge and inspiration. Before she realized how much she enjoyed this, she struggled with marketing. Now her entire marketing plan is based on hosting events, and her business is thriving.
  • Which clients/projects are favorites — We all have a certain type of client or a specific sort of project that makes us feel good about ourselves and our business. Changing the direction of our marketing to attract only more clients and projects like those can motivate us to new levels of energy while simultaneously streamlining our marketing.
  • Where you're using strengths — Tactics like writing, public speaking, and one-to-one conversations make use of my own strengths and talents. When doing these things to market my business, I can shine. I'm much more effective when engaged in these activities than when pushing myself to attend networking mixers or make cold calls, areas where I'm not as strong.
  • What helps you succeed — One of my clients learned that she can be much more successful at marketing when she has a three-item to-do list in front of her each day. It keeps her focused on the most important tasks, and brings her back to her own agenda when she gets distracted.

Use what you discover from this exploration to make a new, proactive, focused marketing plan. (My books Get Clients Now! and The One-Person Marketing Plan Workbook can help.) Then restart your marketing with your mind cleared and resources refreshed, just like your computer after you reboot.

You've no doubt heard people say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. So... don't keep following the same marketing and sales pattern if it isn't producing the results you want.
Copyright © 2014, C.J. Hayden

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