Sales & Marketing – Still a dark art for many SME’s

It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is…if people don’t buy it you’re in trouble.

And for a great many small and medium-sized companies, that’s the real elephant in the room.

You could be a fantastic company of accountants or have the best software development team for miles around and no doubt you’re excellent at what you do, what ever it is you’re producing or delivering.

That’s why it’s so frustrating for companies who are simply struggling with bringing in new business in a consistent and predictable manner.

Of course it’s easy to buy “marketing services” or “lead/appointment generation” services, you only need to throw a stick out of your window and you’re bound to hit a marketing agency or a digital guru of some description. They will of course be only too happy to sell you what it is they do.

That’s actually where your problems usually start. 

I’m not for one moment suggesting the agency or service provider is not good at what they do, or that they are anything other than well intention-ed. I am suggesting however that many SME organisations aren’t actually sure what it is they really need and therefore what they really ought to buy and from whom.

For many, marketing (and in some instances sales) is a real afterthought or seen as a necessary evil and certainly an overhead.

That means that they almost always leave doing anything about it until it’s too late…

Too Little Too Late

And then it’s a case of too little budget and far too little time to do anything about it.

Of course, what ever service provider you bring in at that stage will “fail”.

Marketing is “the long game”, it’s a discipline that requires skill and investment and time. If you give it that, then it won’t cost you a fortune and it will work. If you confuse it with magic…and expect it to pull a rabbit out of the hat in no time at all and for no money invested, then you will be very disappointed indeed.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on marketing or to panic and push out vast campaigns at enormous cost while you cross your fingers and hope for the orders to come in.

You need to plan to invest in an intelligent, progressive and iterative dialogue with your audience. If you do that well enough and consistently enough you will be amazed how little you will need to spend on turning that audience from educated and interested into a sale and maybe even an advocate.