I was recently contacted by a client who is in a jam. This client wanted my help because sales weren’t going the way they were supposed to. This client didn’t want to pay for my help before and really couldn’t afford to do so now, but wanted to see a boost in sales. Time was running out.
I couldn’t help my client. It wasn’t the risk of not getting paid that held me back. It wasn’t the fact that I’m still running on a half-tank of energy each day. It’s because it was too late.
Marketing is cumulative. It takes time, planning, and a strategic approach. The goal is to work in multiple impressions over time, which produces an effect that is greater than the sum of the individual parts. You can’t really do it on the fly. You can’t rev things up and make up for lost time. You can’t force it. Marketing is cumulative.
Sales are a different matter. You can badger, cajole, and bully your way into a sale. You might not get a lot of repeat business, but the process works if you want just the one sale from a lot of different customers. It’s the hard sell, the hard push that makes this possible. But this isn’t something I can do. More importantly, it’s something I’m not willing to do. I hate when people do it to me and I won’t do it to other people.
That’s why I like marketing. If you follow the marketing process and do it right, then you won’t need to sell anything. You’ll have a good product or service at a reasonable price and you’ll have the communications materials that will attract the customers who want what you have. You don’t need to sell anything, because the marketing does it for you.
Of course, sales in and of itself is not a bad thing. There are plenty of good ways to sell a product or service. You don’t have to be a bully about it. If you have a good product at a good price, then you don’t need to be a bully to be a sales professional.
But marketing…marketing takes time, it takes cultivation, it takes strategy. It’s like a puzzle, with people as one of the components. It’s kind of like a story that hasn’t been told yet. So, I like marketing, but to make it work you have to think ahead and make the investment, because marketing is cumulative.