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What to do in a drought

Posted: August 12, 2014 11:29 a.m.
Updated: August 12, 2014 11:29 a.m.

 

The National Drought Mitigation Center shows most of my home state of California is in what they call an “exceptional drought.” The other levels are, in descending order, extreme, moderate and abnormally dry.

Draconian measures are in place with even more being considered to eliminate water waste and reduce everyday usage of H2O until such time as rain and snow once again blankets the Golden State and the reservoirs and aquifers are filled.

Many companies today are in a drought; the question is to what level.

Businesses suffering from their own kinds of drought conditions have two significant problems.

The first is that they are not consistently generating enough qualified leads. Put another way, whatever is happening in marketing is not working.

The second is that the company sales department is not making enough presentations to qualified prospects to add to the client base.

Sales people are often referred to as “rainmakers.”

How are your rainmakers doing these days? Are they hard at work or making excuses? Are they getting the business or giving you “the business?”

Are your current marketing efforts for new clients generating the leads needed to grow the client base in a reasonable time?

Marketing is everything done to “make the phone ring.” Within this definition are all forms of advertising (print, electronic, outdoor, Internet), direct marketing (mail, cold calling), public relations, networking, referrals, trade shows, website inquiries and so forth.

The first step is to determine the source of your current client base. Next to each client list the marketing method employed. Estimate the amount of money spent to acquire the client.

The second step is to put a revenue amount per client compared to the estimated cost of client acquisition. This calculation provides return on marketing investment.

Third, list what marketing programs are working, or not, and eliminate marketing activities that don’t work and start investing more where they do.

Sales takes control when marketing drives prospects to contact your company.

Is everyone in sales presenting to qualified prospects as frequently as they could? Put another way, are your sales people generating enough rainfall to flood your company bank account?

The answer is a resounding “NO” for 99.9 percent. Why is this?

Prospecting on Mondays and Fridays is rare. Research suggests that the first call on any given day for many sales people is not until 11am.

Many in sales spend Mondays and Fridays doing expense reports, sitting in sales meetings and pushing lead sheets around. Rumor has it they also engage in chit-chat; surf the Internet; take long lunches; and golf all the time.

If you want more clients, better clients, more sales, stronger cash flow and more profits, you need to change the sales paradigm. Now is the time to create a new, stronger, better, more focused work ethic for your sales employees.

Neal Boortz’s commitment speech at Texas A&M University is a classic. He said to those graduating that if they wanted to succeed in life, they had to be willing to work long, hard and smart; to “drive home in the dark.”

The drought in California and the rest of the West and Southwest will require change. It is a new day with new realities and it will require doing many things differently, perhaps permanently.

The same holds true for the sales team in a business where the owner wants more efficiency, more productivity and better results.

Ken Keller facilitates The Wise Owners Advisory Boards, bringing business owners together for education, sharing and on-going success. Contact him at KenKeller@SBCglobal.net. Keller’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

 

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