Does one take his own advice!

We marketing and business consultants provide our clients lots of smart advice, and when they use that advice we brag on their intelligence. When they don’t, we predict their failure. This past weekend I spent some time thinking about that and decided to check myself and my marketing firm out. I evaluated how well we do in taking our own advice and analyzed our successes and failures based on that advice. We did well, but could do better.

The process made me realize that among the ways we could do better is in the discovery and new and unique ways to achieve success. Although new strategies might be hard to come by, I suspect that you can offer us new ways to launch and manage those strategies for success.
I challenge each of us to step up to the plate and swing for the fences. What one, two or three tips work best for your clients and how do they work for you? To be a good sport, I’ll begin.
1. Network: No matter my client’s products or services, my first piece of advice to grow their business and to build their brand and marketing image is to get out of the office and meet others in business. They need not be potential clients, as one of the best ways to grow a business is through referrals and leads. This strategy only works if we are committed to relationship building. Build relationships and within a year your business will begin reaping the benefits of those relationships. My unique tip: I reach out to all my competitors, take them to coffee, sometimes refer business to them, and in return, they do the same.
2. Know What Your Best Customer Looks Like: How can you market to your best customers if you don’t know who they are and what they look like? And how can you ask for referrals and leads if you can’t describe what those referrals and leads should look like? Identify your best customers by industries, positions of decision makers (e.g., CEO, CMO, CFO, etc.), size of revenue, number of employees, geography, values, their customers, their state of growth, and so on. My unique tip: When you visit a client, notice what they read. This will tell you much about who they are.
3. Writing and Speaking: This goes along with number 1. Get out of the office, get known, and build relationships. Write and speak about what you know that others want to learn or seek verification. Keep in mind, it is about the audience, not about us. My unique tip: Offer to speak in exchange for expenses. I do this for those I am trying to build long-term relationships with. First, it is a nice way to honor the relationship and second, a good way to grow referrals and leads and to spread word of mouth marketing regarding your speaking ability and availability.
Those are three broad strategies. Feel free to share tactics that spell out specific ways to achieve strategic success in any of those categories or share new and different strategies and tactics? What works and what doesn’t?


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