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 contact. This tactic usually results in those initial sales that get the business off the ground. Now you’re up and running. Well done!

And for the next few months things are going well. Essentially you “live off your network”. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing…

Then a monster raises its head: sales start to dry up!

Your chest starts to contract and your breathing gets shallower. You’ve got a problem: you need to make your next sale to someone completely unknown. A total stranger. You’ve exhausted your network and are now forced to go in cold. Suddenly your next sale is proving much harder to make. You can’t get hold of the right people; you can’t get the meetings…you’re stuck like a Korean SUV on safari.

What now?

Here’s the million-dollar question: how do you make a sale to someone who owes you nothing; knows you from nowhere?

The answer is to add a little something in front of your sales pitch called marketing.

Marketing allows you to introduce your business to the market, proactively. It does the job your friends and family did for you initially, but over the long term. A good marketing strategy saves you the effort of ever having to make that dreaded ice cold call!

But there’s a catch. You don’t turn this kind of marketing on like a tap of water. It takes a long time to build up momentum through the right message, to the right people, using the right communication tools.

Don’t get stuck in a sales rut. Start your marketing campaign whilst your sales are still pumping!