By: Robin Robins,
Author and Founder of the Technology Marketing Toolkit System
I recently received an e-mail from a client who is teetering on the brink of closing the doors of his IT consulting business and getting a day job. His savings have dried up and he’s maxed out every credit card he has. Now, he’s desperate and calling us for help.
Of course we’ll do everything possible to help him, but now that he’s let it go so far in the red before doing something, it’s going to take a herculean effort on his part (and sheer magic on ours) to start the heart pumping again…which begs the question, why did he wait until now to get serious about keeping the funnel full?
Look…success or failure is not an overnight thing. If you are paying attention, you know if you are moving forward, backward or stagnating. The key is to do something the minute you notice the decline in sales or opportunities before you get so far behind the 8 ball that your only option is to file for bankruptcy and take a job working at Circuit City.
Marketing (and selling) is a numbers game. If you get X number of leads in the door, X number will become clients, and out of those, X% will end up being really good ‘sweet spot’ clients that are worth anything. It’s nothing to get emotional about – it’s just a fact of life. If you want to know how your sales are going to be 3 to 6 months from now, look at what’s coming into the funnel TODAY. There’s no marketing quick fix that can make up for months (or years) of marketing neglect; that’s why it’s so important to watch the numbers.
If you’re really good, your ‘numbers’ may be better than most; meaning your marketing efforts bring in a good quality and quantity of leads and you close a large percentage of the leads you get. But if you stink at marketing and lead generation, have no follow up system, and you’re weak at closing sales, you need to make up for it with more volume of leads (opportunities) coming into the funnel.
Simple, yes. Yet I see so many IT firms sitting back and watching the slow decline in their business. Instead of getting serious about doing everything possible to keep the funnel full, they stick their head in the sand and hope that the economy will get better, that their clients will refer more, or that some lucky turn of events is going to save them. A few month’s later, we get the desperate cry for help.
In the upcoming months, I think we are going to see more IT businesses disappearing and failing than succeeding. In most cases, it’s 100% their own fault so I find it difficult to feel empathy for the vast majority of them, especially when there are so many tools, seminars and other resources that can teach them HOW to be better at marketing. Yet they CHOOSE to stay “busy” doing other lesser-important activities, thereby manifesting their own demise. As Nido Qubein once said in a seminar I attended, “An empty bank account is a sign of a lifetime of poor decisions.”
So the question you have to ask yourself now is, what are you deciding to do to make sure YOUR funnel stays full?
Dedicated to your success,