Stop! If you are doing any of the six following things, you are likely hurting your sales and marketing efforts. They are a waste of time, money and energy that you can use in better ways.
- Stop intrusion marketing. There is a reason why every single post office has recycle bins in their lobbies – we all reject direct mail marketing. Just stop doing it. It offers low return, creates waste and those darn bins get filled to the top an hour after the mail arrives. Besides, when was the last time you read one of those stupid post cards?
- Stop saying you are #1. No one cares if you are number 1, they only care if you can help them. Stop ringing your own bell and start finding out about the needs of your prospects. Realize that every potential relationship, whether fruitful or not, is also a potential point of reference for your company. In a social networking environment, those opinions matter much more than what you have to say about yourself.
- Stop shamelessly promoting your company. It is just plain icky when someone sees every person who has a pulse and penny as a potential client. I, like many, reject that traditional sales jive and will never do business with those types of people. I want to be a unique customer, not one of 100 sales leads from some event. I have had the same box of 100 business cards for the past three years and see no need to pass them out to total strangers. I do use them when introduced to someone as a potential customer, and over 60% of all the cards referred by personal connections become customers.
- Stop thinking geographically. For most businesses, the only thing that ties us to a region is a lease, mortgage, utilities and our workforce. Being the #1 whatever in your town is meaningless. What about your town is a specialization? Think in terms of vertical markets. Specialize in a specific vertical or need related to a national (or international) market and grow relationships there. With specialization you gain competitive advantage and operational efficiency.
- Stop viewing companies that do what you do as competitors. If you follow # 4, you can be in the same office as the company you perceive as a competitor, but build relationships in completely different markets and with a completely different sales methodology. Every company that thinks that they compete with us in our local market has never gone head to head with us competing for a project – simply because we don’t sell that way. Through their perception of us, and their own competitiveness, they miss an opportunity to build a peer relationship, potential services partnership and a strong ally for their business.
- Stop haggling with vendors. Your vendors are in your sales network. Opinions matter and treating your vendors well is an opportunity to expand your positive sphere of influence. In tough economic times, companies tend to pay later, be less responsive to payables and more likely to dispute invoices. Don’t do it. You vendors can be a great referral source if they like working with you. Remind them you are doing well, value your relationship with them and that they can count of you as a customer. They will appreciate knowing they have a solid client base and will have a positive opinion of your company.
What to replace these 6 bad marketing behaviors with? See our 5 Recession Busting Moves For Small Business.