Balance urgency with strategy

I hope you are planning.  09 is right around the corner – spending all of your time on the urgent year end close may prove to be a mistake as the word recession continues to  appear in the local papers.  While your clients may be spending their budgets, I suspect budgets will be leaner and slow in the approval process at the start of 09.  Start thinking about how to reach clients and prospects in new ways, with new value; following are some ideas:

  • – Cold calling is a numbers game, but the odds are against you. This should not be your primary marketing program.
  • – Warm calls are better – find some way to introduce the call before actually making it. Email is one way. If you can somehow gain agreement to set up a call, your odds increase dramatically.
  • – Get out of the office. Join groups, organizations, and network to find prospects.
  • – Build stronger relationships with the local sales forces of your key partners
  • – Set up marketing events – educate and entertain. Builds your brand in the mind of your customers.
  • – Write: Write articles, write newsletters, send notes, send content through email…consider writing a book.
  • – Speak: Find forums where you can speak to groups. I have a client who recently did an Internet awareness seminar for parents. Of course he invited key prospects and their spouses.
  • – Work in collaborative environments. If you work alone in a region, try working out of a local coffee shop where others are also working. This may stimulate thinking.
  • – Set goals, get a strategy, map out your daily plan and work the plan.
  • – Hire a coach to help you formulate better strategies and ideas. This is a growing trend and it works.
  • – Finally, sales development takes time. If you are scrambling, you may have missed the mark on planning. If you fail to plan now, you may be scrambling early in the first quarter. Waiting until things are urgent is always a mistake where relationships are required.

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