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Years ago I consulted for a company in Colorado that had made the INC. 500 Fastest Growing Companies list that year.  The owner had heard me speak at one of several of these conferences where I spoke.  (At the time I was still in NJ and had no idea I would be relocating to Fort Collins only a couple of years later.)

I met with the Marketing Director and his team.  The owner traveled a great deal, negotiating sales for his company far and wide.  He was a great salesman, but his ego was so oversized he had no idea how clueless he was about the other aspects of his business.  He hired professionals to cover the other areas of expertise, then refused to meet with them.

The week I consulted for the company “Joe” made sure he was in town.  I heard him say to his CPA who wanted to discuss a disturbing issue, “You take care of it; that’s why I’m paying you the big bucks.”  

In our marketing meeting, we were discussing the firm’s trade show budget.  They were spending $120,000. per year and had no idea which shows were better than others.  At this meeting, the Marketing Director and his team were agonizing over whether or not to participate in an upcoming, expensive show that until that point seemed to have delivered nothing.

I asked, “What do the salespeople who work the shows tell you?”  Answer, “Oh, they always return and say the shows were great.”

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Last week I met with a client in Wyoming who is a medical professional.  His biggest sticking point is writing reports about his patients.

You might ask how this is related to marketing.  

The answer is simple.  If he’s been referred by another doctor, the referring doctor expects to know what my client did for her patient and how her patient is progressing.

If these reports are not forthcoming promptly, referrals decline as the word gets around that the doctor is consistently tardy with patient information.

It works both ways, of course.  If my client refers to another doctor and his reports are incomplete, the other doctor may grow impatient at his inability to begin to help the patient.

On-time reporting was the agenda for our last consultation.  I asked my client how many reports he could complete per week, being totally aware of how many interruptions he has to absorb in the course of each day.  Moreover, his work is draining; he has to put on a good face for his patients, regardless of what he’s going through in his own personal life.

Obviously it’s not that simple to go from meeting with a patient to sitting down and writing a report.  Catching one’s breath before the next appointment is essential.  If it’s a day with a heavy patient load, you can imagine how exhausted he is at the end of the day.

Back to the subject at hand, however.  

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What makes so many business owners resist marketing to such an extent?  

I’ve written about this frequently, but it still isn’t penetrating enough business owner brains.

Overwhelmingly, people equate marketing with advertising, believing advertising costs are way beyond their budget.  Well, advertising is part of marketing; but marketing isn’t just advertising.  Moreover, you’ve heard me warn repeatedly about marketing Unknown to Unknown; and that’s what advertising is.  You don’t know them, and they don’t know you.  Advertising requires a commitment of months, and I’m not about to espouse this as your primary marketing strategy when I say constantly, in marketing it’s not what you spend, but how you spend it.

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Recently I celebrated my 38th anniversary in business.  It was on Facebook and LinkedIn, and I’m still thanking people for their good wishes.

Anniversaries are special, so how well do you leverage those that occur in your business?

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I’ll be the first to admit that this is an area that has frustrated me for years, partly because I don’t pay enough attention to it, partly because I get lazy.

Testimonials, also known as Reviews, are valuable on websites and the various social media; but they’re not always easy to obtain.  (By the way, I’ve heard increasing numbers of people saying “testimonies,” and that isn’t correct; it’s “testimonials,” please.)

You receive a compliment, and you ask for a written testimonial (or review) from the person who’s offered some kind, positive words.  And here’s where the fun begins.  The individual agrees to write one, but you never receive it.

How come?  

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