The owner of a St. Louis Public Relations Agency, I have had recent meetings with heads of several established businesses and have elicited one conclusion; it’s time to get back to what football coaches call “blocking and tackling”.
A number of these established companies enjoyed outstanding success prior to the recession but then fell on hard times when customer budgets began to dry up.
As the economy slowly starts to head to positive ground, small B2B and selected B2C firms need to refocus on how they built their business.
It took long hours, attending trade shows and networking events, making dozens of sales presentations, establishing relationships, and self-education on the latest industry trends to build the client base.
A PR/marketing specialist would tell them it means re-establishing branding and messaging activities using both social as well as traditional media. But that’s not the end, only the beginning of a more encompassing plan.
That plan should include a re-examination of the data base and searching out customers who perhaps bought your product in prior years but whom you chose not to pursue further during the busy “go-go” days.
It includes making one-on-one in-person contacts with your best prospects whether it’s at a breakfast, lunch, dinner or a seminar.
It also includes joining selected organizations where prospects and potential referral sources exists. It includes participating on boards of charitable organizations where you cannot only meet like-minded individuals from other companies, but also make a difference in your community.
Retooling the sales message is also a necessity. Is it on-target for what your prospect needs in 2011 or are you still using an older approach from the 1990s?
It takes dedication and effort but for those wishing to reinvigorate their businesses it’s time to get back to the basics.