Why is our approach to sales and marketing often illogical?

January 24, 2013

By Bob Johnson, NAID CEO

Would you trust a contractor to build you a house without a plan? Would you set out on a long road trip without a good understanding of how to get to your destination? Why then, do so many of us think we can build a company without a plan or a map? It is completely illogical.

The problem is, even though we realize the importance of a plan, it is amazing how willing we are to fly by the seat of our pants when it comes to marketing. And, the symptoms of this malady are so obvious.

  1. Not knowing where your next customer will come from
  2. Showing up for work without knowing what your next sales or marketing step is
  3. Not being able to describe the type of customer you are trying to attract or what you doing to attract them
  4. Constantly being in a reactive sales and marketing mode versus initiating the activity

Peter Drucker famously said, “The purpose of every business is to create a customer.” Sales and marketing is how we do that and, yet, it is just about the only thing we think we can build without a plan. The reason it works at all is because so many others are operating the same way.

Woe to you if your competitor has a plan. And, woe to your competitor if you have one.

I have gotten better at understanding (and having) a sales and marketing plan in recent years, so I guess you could say I am in recovery. My concern about this is one of the reasons NAID has focused more on marketing programs for members than just brochures. The Customer Employee Training Program, the Compliance Toolkit and the Doctor’s Office Marketing Program may not be “marketing plans” per se, but they are certainly important elements of marketing plans. I wish more NAID members were using them.

As they say, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. We’re going to be spending a lot of time on NAID marketing programs at the NAID 2013 Annual Conference in Nashville, Tenn., and at future Shred Schools. Please think about attending these events, and, in any case, let’s all agree not to build our businesses and futures without a plan.