There’s a stunning difference, for many in the industry, between marketing concepts and actual practice. We talk about the right things to do, but only do them right some of the time. And yet, despite the imperfections, many times our businesses survive, thrive and grow.
The reason, of course, is that underneath the marketing science there is the science that healthy relationships last, and good clients result in more good clients (and more repeat business). And, if we have the basics right, we’ll retain the staff, contractors and suppliers to help us continue the process.
Of course this type of thinking works well for established businesses with a solid foundation of repeat/referral clients and the capacity to scale or manage operations to handle economic cycle bumps and grinds. There are different narratives when you are starting out, or when things go wrong. Here, to survive you need to stretch outside your comfort zone and figure out how to find/retain/develop new clients and profitable business when it seems that everyone else has the same problem.
There are answers; and often times they return us to the basics: How can we capture more repeat and referral business — and the new clients to generate that business — economically (and in a crisis), quickly? Paradoxically, usually the best and most effective answers return us to square one: Reviewing our existing/previous relationships, rebuilding and redeveloping these contacts and then reaching out again to them.
Underlying these strategies, however, it helps to know what you do best, and how to implement that greatness. And it is important to listen to the emotions and reactions of the people around you, making your own decisions, but still hearing the sounds and communications you need to know. The marketing magic bullet, often, is right under your nose.