Damn Pushy Marketing Sales People

The marketing worked and did its job.  It got traffic to your business.

Billings marketing people don't have to be pushyAnd then BOOM!  The number one gripe of all prospects.The pushy salespeople.  Many times its focused on the car lots of dealers in Yellowstone County.  You know, the ones where you feel like a piece of meat dropped on a plate (the parking lot) and watch for the hounds to devour.

OK, so that is a bit much.  But it is a description I heard the other day from a person who had just been to one of the local Billings car lots.

Pushy Marketing Salespeople Defined

It made me think about marketing and sales people in general.  What is a “pushy salesperson?”  Especially when it comes to being a Billings marketing person.

The definition really depends on your perspective.

For example,

  • if you are already a marketing expert
  • you know all there is to know about the 22 different ways to market your business in Billings
  • you can actually name all 22 different ways without looking at my blog post
  • you don’t need any more business because you can’t handle what you have
  • you don’t really have the money to market effectively
  • you buy TV shows you like because everyone likes the same things you do
  • you think of yourself as generally the smartest person in the room

Then you probably find most marketing sales people are pushy.

When a Marketing Person is a Resource to Your Business Growth

If your goal, like the goal of this blog post, is to learn everything you can possibly learn about marketing. If you want to know more about your customers, your marketplace, and different ways you can build your business, then you probably don’t find Billings marketing people pushy.

We all want to make our businesses grow and earn more money.  The best way to do that is increase our service to the traffic we have, thereby creating more traffic.  Marketing is putting your message in front of a prospective client at the time the prospect is ready to buy.

Marketing Strengths and Weaknesses

Every medium you can use to market your product or service in Billings and everywhere else has strengths and weaknesses.  All the media have their cheerleaders and their detractors.  You may have even had a particularly good or bad experience with a marketing product.

Take a couple of minutes to listen to professionals when they want to talk with you about growing your business.  The good ones are as passionate about their products and how they can help solve your problems.  It is pretty much the same way you are excited about your goods and offerings.

No one calls you pushy, do they?

If you want to learn more about marketing your business in a non pushy, consultative atmosphere, check this.  And tell your friends too.



Ready, Fire, Aim–Tactical Marketing in Billings and Elsewhere

Ready, fire, aim is a strategy used by many businesses. It doesn’t matter where you are marketing in Bozeman or doing Billings marketing. Hopefully one of them is your competitor. A better way to describe this way of doing business is the desire to do something, anything just to feel like you are trying.

You have heard over and over again your tactics are dictated by your strategy.  It is advice is well-worn.  There is probably not a Billings marketing or Billings advertising agent who has not focus on this absolute truism.

So if its such a truism, why are there so many businesses doing tactics before they know what they should be doing?

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing points out the obvious:

Landing on a marketing strategy that allows you to clearly demonstrate how you’re different, how you bring value and who, precisely, makes an ideal client for your business is the most important element of marketing.

Key Questions for Billings Marketing Pros

How would you answer those questions for your business.  In my experience, there are not a lot of business people who can answer these questions.  The look in the eyes of practically every business I’ve worked with when you ask the question, “where do you expect to be in five years” tells you all you need to know.

There is a step by step way to develop a strategy that takes you to your tactics.

The best part of this step by step plan is the cost.


Strategy is Most Important in Marketing in Billings and Everywhere

Strategy is the most important part of your marketing plan and one typically that gets the least focus.  When did you spend even an hour doing a SWOT matrix on your business and the ones who sell to the same customers as you?  Is your strategy the kind of “hope and pray” type of Billings marketing that evidenced in conversations everyday in town?

In an earlier blog post, I covered the idea most business people consider themselves excellent marketers. If that were the case, why do so many businesses shut their doors?

That’s easy to answer.

Not enough business caused by not enough time taken to develop a strategic difference.

The Questions Everyone in Billings Marketing Should Answer

Even answering these few questions can help you get a bit of strategic thought process going.

Try these for a moment

Who is your ideal client? Why would they buy from you and not a competitor? Do you know where they live?  Do you know what kinds of media they consume, shows they watch, cars they drive, or music they like?

These few questions just scratch the surface.  Knowing the right questions to ask will get you a powerful strategic plan.  Only then can you go to market with your tactics.

I’ve written those questions for businesses big and small in cities and towns all across the country.  If you want to get the blueprint on how to build a successful strategy, contact me.

There’s no cost.



Dangers of Fly By Night Agencies

Damage from the so-called “fly-by-night” agencies are real.  The losses they can cause are dangerous.  It’s not just the loss of money these “hobby” agencies can cause you.  Its time too.

ID a Fly By Night Agency

Three ways to identify a “fly-by night” or hobby agency.

When you hire an agent to help you with your advertising, you are looking for expertise.  You are getting help for the one area of your business which could mean the difference between making money and shutting the doors.  Here are three great ways to tell if you have a “hobby” company.

Check the References

First, check their references.  Graduating from a prestigious university or an upper level degree program somewhere is not enough.  Find out with whom your agent has had success in the past.   Experience alone is not a deciding factor, but years in multiple marketing disciplines can give you a clue of what to expect.  It’s not enough to be “in advertising”, its the success earned you want.

Weak Depth=Fly By Night

Second, what do they do.  Some agencies have little idea how the internet and social media works.  Others are clueless about mainstream media like television or radio.  Still others are event experts.  And there is the laziest of all agencies, the media buying service.  These guys attempt to sell you on the idea of media buying as a true science.

It’s not.

If it were then the guys with the most money would always win.  Remember “New” Coke? No amount of marketing money in the world was going to save it.  Apple TV hasn’t exactly caused a run to the registers.

Fly by night agencies have exaggerated capabilities.  Ask the hard questions before you hire them..

Fly By Night=Unreliable

Third, a “hobby” agency may ask you for money upfront.  They don’t have the cash or the stature to have credit with media companies where you want to do business.  They sell you on the idea of a “retainer” when in reality its their cash flow coming from your pocket.  This is different than getting a scope of work estimate for a particularly intricate amount of work.  Or they may offer you an insanely low rate just to get in the door.

Social media and the availability of audio, video, and photo editing tools has made a number of people hang out their shingle as a “marketing company” or ad agency.  The problem is the same tools used as an equalizer can also fool you.

For example, there are a number of companies advertising “instant websites” on television.  I saw one in baseball’s All Star Game in July.  Click here, add a few photos, click there and within minutes you’ll be ranking high in Google.

What a crock!

But that expensive TV ad and the cool graphics looked hot.

Lots of Flash, Low Meat

“Fly by Night” agencies look a lot like that TV ad.  Lots of flash, not much substance.

Inc.com has a great article on questions you should ask yourself when looking you are in the market for help with your marketing.

Reputable agencies will have your top line revenue and serving your current and future customers at the top of their list of questions for you.  “Fly by nights” may start with your ad spend at the top of their proposals.