Barney Fife, the deputy on “The Andy Griffith Show” was the only person that I’ve ever seen that was successful with a single bullet.
Of course there wasn’t much crime in Mayberry so he didn’t need the bullet for anything; but, he had one just in case.
Over the last month I’ve heard one employee after another, one senior executive after another, and one consultant after another tell me that they are looking for a magic bullet to solve their marketing and sales problems.
They didn’t phrase it that way. They said things like:
* “We’re jumping all over this social networking thing.”
* “I’m trying TV. I think that’ll bring in leads and traffic.”
* “I’ve got this really hot sales exec coming in. She’s going to make our numbers soar.”
* “The guy I was going to hire a year ago is available now so we’re ‘bringin him in’ because he’s a market maker.”
I asked, after each one of these statements, what else are you going to do and they each said, essentially, nothing. That’s it, nada.
Doing more than one thing makes it more complicated… harder to imagine.
I still remember Barney Fife pulling that one bullet out of his top pocket quickly in an “emergency” and watched him fumble it all around and eventually drop it on the ground before he could load his weapon. By then the crisis was either over, or it had escalated, and Andy would have to save him.
That’s the outlook most have. “If I can just find that one magic bullet……” …that one relationship, that one method, that one technology, whatever…
Our culture is trapped in hero worship, the rugged individual that will save the day.
As one of the top leadership consultant’s, Dr. John Maxwell said, “If you want to do something big, you must link up with others. One is too small a number to achieve greatness.”
That goes for both people and weapons in your strategy.
No single person will sell you to success. No single marketing channel or component will make your marketing work.
An integrated marketing and sales approach works every time, in every market condition. A team of highly qualified marketing and sales pros working together, under solid leadership, will sell more. Period.
It takes everyone (not the magic one) rolling their sleeves up to work hard:
– Deciding who is going to do what – VOLUNTEER – Don’t wait to be assigned, no boundaries, no silos, get involved!
– Don’t sit in your office! Find out about the market situation.
– Work together to figure out what the best buyer types would be for each situation.
– Formulate an INTEGREATED MARKETING PLAN (not the magic advertising channel) to reach those buyers, including a marketing MIX and a measurement system to quantify and qualify lead results. Think out of the box and get everyone involved.
– Put the budget, tools, and systems in place for successful marketing and sales execution.
– Create and approve marketing material based on what sells to the customer you identified as the best buyer type, not your personal opinion – or the opinion of the boss.
– Don’t sit in your office! Address issues as a team as soon as they come up. SOLVE THEM!
– Execute those marketing plans and change tactics based on measurement. If something works, keep doing it until it stops working. Don’t change it for change sake. If a component or channel is not getting measurable results, kill it and move on.
– Put a SALES PLAN in place that fosters teamwork, not competition, among sales execs and marketing, including rewards and recognition.
– Execute the sales plan with a feedback loop to marketing to continue to get more and more qualified leads.
– Sell with excellent customer service – beyond what is expected. Astonish your customers.
– Don’t sit in your office! EVERYONE visits customers to learn, help, encourage!
– Create a post-sale customer service and marketing program and get ready for referrals and repeat buyers.
It’s a lot of work. It takes energy, organization, and leadership. But it is ALWAYS more successful than the magic bullet!
Even if there is not much business out there, you’ll get it and your competition won’t; because, they’ll still be sitting in their office looking for the magic bullet that doesn’t exist.