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Over time I have seen a multitude of marketing methods in our industry. I have seen the basic (direct mail, newspaper advertising) to the bizarre (sandwich boards, pony rentals) to the unique (well, it wouldn’t be fair to those involved to list those here). I have also seen some people spend more time setting up their computers, Web-sites, and letterhead than they do going out and getting business.
Awhile back, as part of a “state of the industry” address, I discussed marketing and my belief that you had two choices — to be either exclusive or unique. If you were “exclusive,” your potential clients would not necessarily be aware that someone else (other than you) could help them. If you were “unique,” you would manifest some quality that made you stand out from everyone else.
At this point I want to simplify my thoughts into one single message. Regardless of what cash flow you are going after — matter of fact, regardless of what business you are in, I am reminded of a basic thought that my mentor taught me 20 years ago.
Everything you do should be centered on this thought. If it is not — such as worrying about your logo or business card — understand that those types of behaviors or actions don’t get us any closer to doing deals (just doing them in a different way). I can hear you now, “Ok, Fred, what is the message?” It is only five words…
Get Your Phone to Ring
That is it. Everything you do, and I do mean everything, should be concentrated on getting your phone to ring. Whether you are focused on advertisements in the local free paper, a direct mail campaign, flyers, etc., etc. — everything should be about getting a person to call you. That is especially true if you have a Web site. A Web site is nothing more than a 24 hour a day presence for you and your business. Don’t get me wrong, I think a Web site is essential in today’s market — but it also has the goal of getting someone to call you.