New business, Yellow Pages

A number of new clients over the past few months and the prospect of working with a significant West Australian public company on an international project. May need to expand the business later in the year.

New business comes from a variety of sources. Word of mouth, principally. “We used this guy who completely mangled our business, you should try him!”

This week I spoke to a lady who runs a very successful small business in a service industry. She asked me if I had experience in her industry. I said that I didn’t, expecting that to lead to the end of the conversation. “Good,” she said. “We don’t want someone who thinks the same way as everyone else in the industry.”

This is one of the things that distinguish business people who use marketing consultants.

They recognize that they are so close to their business they would benefit from an objective viewpoint. The other characteristics of consultant users are these:
* They run well-established businesses which are already doing quite well.
* They are ambitious and want to expand at a faster rate.

The lady in question found me through The Yellow Pages. She said she opened the book expecting to be impressed with the advertising in the section; after all, these people are supposed to know how to market things. The reason I got the phone call was that all other ads were completely devoid of any creativity or imagination. It’s like marketing consultants believe their clients are suited clones who will shatter at the sound of a loud noise.

I invested in that medium because it gave me an opportunity to stand out. It was the first time I’d advertised and frankly, I got a number of things wrong. However, writing ads is iterative. You do it, you get feedback, you get perspective and then you re-do it better. This year it was 60% right. Next year I’ll have it 95% right.

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