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VOL. 133 | NO. 53 | Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Guerrilla Sales & Marketing

4 Ways to Avoid a Stall-Out

Catherine (Kitty) Taylor

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In due time, every organization faces a potential stall-out in their proactive marketing efforts, whether due to uncertainty about the future or change. Often, the first inclination is to stop outward communication until the leadership team becomes more confident in the future.

Good news: Ceasing or slowing marketing and sales efforts doesn’t have to be the only answer. There are ways to continue to nurture public personas even when, internally, uncertainty is amidst.

Here are four common causes of change and uncertainty inside organizations, with alternatives to consider instead of a marketing or sales stall-out.

Waiting for a Key New Hire. It’s exciting to recruit a new marketing or sales leader to your team, and it’s understandable that you want this person to have a high degree of influence and decision-making power. A simple way to continue an existing routine of marketing content – and support the new person’s knowledge-transfer needs – is to write a blog post or e-newsletter showcasing your top five most popular products or services from the last year or quarter. The new leader will be grateful to have this information handy, and your customers will find it informational too.

Experiencing Leadership Team Discord. It’s normal for members of a leadership team to have different perspectives and tactical approaches. Of course, time to sort out those differences is typically time well-spent. To feed that conversation, each leader could be tasked with secret-shopping a competitor, whether online or in person, and bringing those insights back to the internal conversation. You never know when an aha moment will arise to make marketing and sales decisions even richer.

Facing Uncertainty with a Primary Supplier. With today’s interconnected supply chain, a single vendor can pose sudden difficulty for you. One way to mitigate the risk of a potential shortage in one product or service line is to channel customer attention to a more stable facet of your company. To entice short-term demand, consider running an online ad campaign, promoting a flash sale, or even hosting an intimate in-person concierge-style event for customers to receive personal attention.

Feeling Too Busy for Anything Else. It’s a challenge every organization and employee lives with. “Busy” has become a top American pastime. Small steps in data gathering make sense here, which will provide insight into whether a larger opportunity is really worth tackling. An example of one small step is a short survey to your customers about their opinion of your product or service mix. Do they have needs and wants you don’t know about, or are they satisfied in full?

While these alternatives might not work in every context every time, they do provide ammunition against the gut instinct to slow down in times of uncertainty.

Catherine (Kitty) Taylor, vice president of innovation at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at redrovercompany.com.

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