If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
Last week, I met with one of Mamu Media’s prospects who, though he’s been sharing in the staffing industry’s recent success and growth, has not been able to push his firm over the $25 million threshold. Some might say that he’s not doing too badly for himself. Like most entrepreneurs, however, he knows that his business can be in only one of two states: growing or dying. And flat sales from one quarter to the next means that he’s lost out on opportunities for growth.
He founded his company about a decade ago, after leaving one of the large national firms. Immediately after setting up his own shop, he started deploying the tactics that had made him wildly successful at the national firm and worked his sales strategy purely by the numbers: x calls —> y meetings —> z orders. Because the sales were good over the years, he had seen no need to deviate from this formula. Unfortunately, although his numbers were decent, they were also stagnant.
During our meeting we spent some time discussing his business development model. On the surface he seemed to be doing everything right. He had a dedicated sales team and a good grasp of social media. He sponsored local networking events, supported by a great recruiting team that sourced leads and also did some selling on their own. Clearly, he’d already figured out the importance of active sales management.
I asked him, “When was the last time you stepped back to evaluate your business-development strategy? And I mean really take a look at it to see what works and what doesn’t work—and what you can do differently?”
His response? “Never.”
In Sales Growth: Five Proven Strategies from the World’s Sales Leaders, Thomas Baumgartner and his coauthors interviewed over 120 global sales executives and learned that those with business strategies that prioritized sales management outperformed (by leaps and bounds) their competitors who didn’t. My prospect, who already had some terrific sales management practices in place, was already reaping their benefits. To increase his numbers, however, he needed to do more. And that’s why he was talking with me.
Although sales management is essential to run a business effectively, the top leaders in any field do more than just manage the process. They constantly innovate and come up with strategies to improve on their people and processes.
With this in mind, I believe there are only three ways to grow a business:
Add more customers (through new sales, new products, or acquisitions)
Take a share-of-wallet approach by asking current customers to buy more often or to increase their order sizes
Prioritize client retention and turn each new customer into a lifelong partner
The most successful companies are those that have mastered all three of those strategies.
During my meeting with the prospect, I suggested that he use Mamu Media’s branded publishing services to help him implement those strategies. I explained how print magazines are especially effective because of their message longevity, relevance, customization possibilities, and reach (especially when compared to other print and digital media). This format would enable him to stay in front of multiple target groups: clients, prospects, and dormant or sporadic accounts—and form new and stronger connections with them.
The result of our conversation? The prospect became a client! After I demonstrated just how effective branded publishing can be in promoting business growth, he was convinced to give it a try. I’m confident he’ll be thrilled to see how effective these publications can be in helping him implement successful growth strategies—and equally delighted to see his company’s flat numbers go up, up, up!