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Irrigation Association of New York

Marketing – How about a fresh start for the new season?

Winter is a great time to take stock of where you’ve been and where you’re going with your marketing. It’s also a great time to resolve to improve. Need some marketing resolution inspiration?

Here are some suggestions:

Fix your marketing attitude. Don’t allow bad experiences and past limitations to cloud your willingness to be bold. Stop believing customers won’t pay more. Do a better job of selling your value and they will. Stop thinking you can’t raise prices. What you do is worth more than it was five years ago. Stop waiting for team members who don’t “get it.” Surround yourself with people who are passionate and ready to work hard toward your success.

Seek game changers, not silver bullets. Game changers are multi-year initiatives that transform your business, taking you to a new level of performance and competitive advantage. They’re not found in a one-hour seminar. They’re not sold by door-to-door salesmen. Instead they’re best identified by a thorough analysis of the playing field and implemented with persistence. Stop wishing and get going.

Accept only good customers. Instead of serving who shows up at your door, resolve to upgrade your clients. Make a list of what delineates a good customer from a bad customer. Figure out what you need to do to get more of the good ones. Weed out the troublemaker clients who bring unrealistic expectations.

Get current customers to buy more from you. These customers know you, like you and trust you. And you like them! Make a list of what you should be selling them, and then get going on promotions. Aim to get them to try you for new products or services. Put an end to the phrase “we didn’t know you offered that, so we bought it somewhere else.”

Turn to staff, peers and experts for help. Nobody can be an expert on every aspect of a business: finance, inventory, marketing, recruiting, etc. Leverage the skills and creativity of others to round out your weak spots. Take field trips to observe other successful firms. Build a team of advisors and call on them regularly.

Stop waiting until the last minute or until next season. Take action to implement the things that you know can make a real difference in your business. Use your time more effectively. Less talk about what you might do; more activity toward getting it done. Get some part-time help or hire a “coach” to hold you accountable. Best wishes for a successful 2014!

Jeff Carowitz is a respected advisor to landscape industry distributors and manufacturers. His website is www.StrategicForceMarketing.com