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Ten tactics to execute TODAY while your marketing program is under development: 

  1. Practice your USP:  Summarize your unique selling proposition, and make sure it works with your best customers. Test it on a few.  While you're at it, ask them what they need to be more productive. Ask them if your competition is making them promises.
  2. Send an eNote:  Recap every business conversation with follow-up notes. Tell them what you will do to make their business more productive.
  3. Get help:  Contact one trade association to discuss industry microtrends, and new member activities.  Ask about pending legislation that will affect your product/service or your customer base.  Register to participate in the next online chat or webinar to evangelize and/or extract market data. 
  4. Select 1 support person: Get a brain dump of what they're hearing, seeing and feeling from customers.  Understand what trends they expect to continue in Q1, and what unusual requests they've received in the last 90 days.  Ask them for five customers who call regularly buy whom they haven't heard from in the last quarter.
  5. Call 5:  Ring the five customers whom you haven't heard from within the quarter.  Why haven't they called?  Are they so focused on core competencies that your product/service is being ignored? Design a follow-up tactic that will enable you to reconnect with them within thirty days. 
  6. Use 3 peers:  Ask your colleagues to blindly profile your ideal customer in terms of education, sex, position and income range.  Describe their business need for your product/service. Compare the results.  Can you and your peers profile your ideal customer?
  7. Listen to sales:  Call several top salespeople, and ask them about their 80/20 rule.  What do their top accounts share with their mediocre accounts - size, location, infrastructure, communications, uses for your product/service, annual revenues, and industry?  Together identify the one or two characteristics that distinguish these top accounts.
  8. Ask for it:  Post your photo (with title) on your website, soliciting feedback from online viewers.  Ask a question, asking for their input.
  9. Give feedback: Make your opinion known, by responding (electronically) to articles written on your specialty.  Give them approval for reproduction.  Be sure to include your title and email address.
  10. Ask a partner:  Call a business partner, and speak to the service manager (not sales).  Ask them what the market is saying about your product/service.  Ask about your competitors. Who is adding new services or features? Who will these changes impact?

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