Avoid those ice-cold calls

When you start your business, you try to keep things simple. You cut as many corners as you can. You do things fast and keep it lean. One place where this preference for simplicity shows up first is in how entrepreneurs drive sales. Where do they start? With friends and family and the odd personal…

An obsession with bigness

The end of 2016 also marks the end of the second full year of doing “my own thing” and I am asking myself: what have I learned? Now, clearly this isn’t a marketing post, but rather a generic overview of what’s on my mind. Call it my annual letter to entrepreneurs! Trump coined the word…

Have a little marketing faith!

There’s a part of marketing that will always be fluffy. You can’t be 100% sure that a specific transaction was necessarily driven by your latest advertising. There’s always an element of doubt involved. A part that is faith-based. But the job of a good marketer is to try to shrink this faith-based element to the…

Build a two-stroke sales engine

Essentially a marketing person and a sales person attempt to solve the same problem, but from different angles. Both try to grow sales, but the marketing person uses a “pull” strategy, whilst the sales person uses a “push” strategy. The pull strategy of the marketing person is focused on creating market awareness and subsequently inducing…

What the hell does your sales team do?

Business owners want sales, but what is sales? Sure, “a sale” means “a transaction” which in turn means “money in the bank”. That’s easy. But it gets more complicated when you ask: “who is responsible for making the sale”? Typically, the answer is “Sales”, as in “our sales force is responsible for making the sales”.…

Who is paying for your first sales date?

A business owner recently shared with me a sales technique he discovered. He realised that if he offered a free service that prospective customers can “trial”, it allowed him a foot in the door to talk about his company’s paid-for “premium” services. He was excited about the opportunities that this sales technique opened up! Of…

Why is marketing so expensive?

I’ve just returned from a meeting where the Johannesburg sales manager for a local electronics company said: “…marketing doesn’t really work, it just costs money…”. You’ll be excused for sharing his view. The first thing I see when I speak to business owners about marketing is the fear of money going down the drain. And…

Does your business have an opinion?

We can make marketing very complex; or very easy. I prefer the second option. Does your business have an opinion? What is that opinion? Does that opinion matter to your customer? Is that opinion different from the other opinions your customer is hearing? Do you successfully get your opinion across to your customer? Do they…