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What to do when times are tough

thirteen ways to improve your chances of surviving tough times

This question was posted to one of the discussion lists I monitor. I just brainstormed this question and here’s what came to mind.

When time are tough:

1. Re-evaluate everything, top to bottom. Identify who are you best customers, your best income streams, your best products, your best services, whatever you have. Get the data and stare at it really hard. Make sure you truly understand what happens in each marketing process you use so that you can identify why customers buy what you sell and what you can control and influence by what you do.

2. Focus on only the most important sources of income. Analyze them until you can visualize every step and communication that produces these sales. Make sure that you spend more time protecting these income streams than anything else you do.

3. Document what works best. Make sure you have a real foundation to believe in. Identify the successful repetitious processes carefully. Make sure they are reliable and produce known results. Once you know which processes are producing what income, make intelligent mature choices as to where to stay and what to let go. Then do it. Change how you operate.

4. Zero in on what works, with whom, and explore what you can do to a. get repeat orders, b. get larger orders, c. get expanded orders – all from the same people. Make sure you identify your most important target audience and stay focused like a laser on them. Forget trying to sell to the world. Focus on your crucial niche. Stay there and get known for real value.

5. Look for host beneficiary opportunities. If you sold to a HQ office, go back and see if you can get them to endorse a referral to all the branch offices. Look for the opportunities and be creative with business proposals to leverage who you know and have performed well for already. Then pitch and pitch some more.

6. Ask for referrals. If you have existing relationships, contact them and ask them who they know and then outreach to them with your best and freshest offer. If you don’t identify the people in your target who can buy the most the fastest. Then contact them one at a time

7. Stop spending generically. Spend surgically. Make sure that you can document what happens when you invest in a process. Make sure the metrics mean something. Learn to sell your product or service. Really and truly learn what it takes to be successful. Then repeat, repeat, repeat.

8. Stop communicating generically. Communicate surgically. Identify what you say that turns people on. Use these messages. Use technology to repeat these messages. If you don’t know, test, test, test till you do. Then repeat, repeat, repeat.

9. Drop almost everything that’s not producing serious reliable income. Focus only on the big ticket items or the ones that have tremendous potential if successful. The Long Tail only produces for people with lots of customers and the ability to sell and profit from lots of other people’s products. If you are not one of them, you have to focus on what produces solid income for you. Make choices that matter.

10. Same goes for your direct communications with people, your PR communications and your marketing messages. Identify what you did and what you said that turned media and people on. That message is probably laden with psychological activators. Re-use it. Repeat what you did till it stops working. Don’t break something that doesn’t need fixing. But let the data tell you what’s the right thing to do. Get the data.

11. Communicate with your customers like you never have before. Talk to them about what’s going on and how you can help. Get to know them and the personas they exemplify. Learn where they hang with and where they hang out when they get information that influences what they buy. Then go to those places and study how things are done.

12. Help the people you can help the most. Look at your customers. Consider that each one is representative of other people with similar interests and problems. This is part of the miracle of the microcosm. Solve the problems of one, and you have a solution for many others with the same problem. Identify the barriers people face. A barrier is an opportunity for problem solving.

13. Once you define a successful script for communicating, then you can use all the available technologies to get the word out and share your knowledge. Remember GIGO – Garbage in, Garbage out – can be replaced with MIMO – Magic in Magic Out.

Paul J. Krupin – Direct Contact PR
Reach the Right Media in the Right Market with the Right Message
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