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May 13, 2009 / jasonpinto

Under the Rocks

I made my first trek of the year to the beach last weekend. It wasn’t quite warm enough to be there, let alone don beach attire or swim, but it still felt really good.

When I was a kid, I spent an awful lot of time playing around in the rocky section of the beach. I wasn’t a huge fan of walking around and jumping from rock to rock. Rather, I enjoyed the hunt of turning rocks over, and finding what lives underneath. It may have been a snail, or a crab, or some other lovely creature that was looking for some shade. I always felt special when I found these animals, because I thought, no one else on this beach will see them but me!

(Selfish? Maybe… )

Well, when it comes to marketing and sales, it sure would be great if all of our sales came directly from our marketing efforts. We send out a mailer… someone responds… we follow-up, we do a demo… and done – a new sale is in the books.

However, campaigns do not always bring us the number of leads we need. Sometimes the sales process takes longer than we are comfortable with.

Its times like these when we need to be a bit more creative and resourceful. I was talking to someone that works at a small architectural firm the other day. They received what could have seemed like an insignificant question on a fax from the relative of a former customer.

This company could have simply responded to the question, and moved on. However, they turned over the rock. They stopped and analyzed the situation- “if they are asking for that bit of information, they must be looking into building a new house.”

Well, this company picked up the phone, and called the former customer. After a bit of chit-chat, they received confirmation – that person was looking for a new place to live. The rep took it from there. They worked out a deal to build a new house for this former customer.

Sales and marketing can be a wonderful thing. When things are going good, it can almost run like a well-tuned machine – outbound messages, inbound activity, automated follow-ups, and more. Even if we have that machine running perfectly, there are still more sales to be found.

It may require getting down in the sand and turning over rocks, but you will find a reward there eventually.

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