Part 2: Yes, You Can
Recession-Proof Your Business!
--Bob Martel, JMB Marketing Group
Hear that zipping sound? It’s your customers closing
the purse strings on their wallets until the economy
improves. In a recessionary period, more than ever,
you will be competing for seemingly scarce
expendable income, as your customers delay their
Hear that silence? It’s your phone not ringing, and
chances are it’s due to under-marketing your
business in the good times. You took your marketing
budget and spent it on toys, technology, or a trip
to Mazatlan, didn’t you?
Too many businesses fail to properly
budget for marketing in the good times,
or they spend it like sailors on shore
leave (something I know a little bit
about!), without concern for the return
for ways to win back customers?
Review this white paper on
how to win back customers with email append here.
It’s time to hold your company
accountable for making the right marketing
decisions, and for measuring each and every
marketing program. In fact, it’s time to make
everyone accountable, especially those with customer
8.) Stay connected with your key customers and
increase your perceived
value. Through your marketing and, more importantly,
through your service delivery, remind them of your
unique selling proposition. Testimonials provide
social proof, and products and services that perform
as promised also strengthen your relationship. I
have documented 34 reasons to write a sales letter
to your current customers. It’s yours for the
asking, via email.
9.) Invest wisely in customer retention; start with
an annual hand-written thank you card to every
customer. Loyalty is not a thing of the past. The
best way to build a loyal customer base is to
consistently deliver your products and services,
10.) Focus on post-purchase reassurance to avoid
cognitive dissonance, or buyer’s remorse. This is
especially important for higher priced products and
services. Reinforce their decision and their choice
to do business with you by helping them realize they
made the right purchasing decision.
11.) Conduct your own marketing self-audit. Look at
every program, and look at what you are not doing
but know you should. An audit will uncover
opportunities that you may not now see. You can get
a free marketing audit questionnaire at my website.
12.) Look at every aspect of your marketing
strategy. Are your offers compelling and refreshing,
with high perceived value? Are you focused on
back-end selling and harvesting profitable sales
from the relationships you have developed?
13.) Focus on the lifetime value of your customers
and start “working the model” to create marketing
leverage. Up-sell, cross-sell, educate, thank and
sell, stimulate referrals.
14.) Launch a customer “win-back” campaign.
letter or a phone call will do the trick.
Every business tightens their belt in a tough
economy, out of necessity. Focus on the
fundamentals—athletes know this is the secret to
success. Increase your commitment to a disciplined,
properly funded marketing action plan. Become a
student of marketing (even if you are already a
marketing pro). Look outside of your industry for
new marketing ideas. Step outside of your own
business and see what “best in class” marketing
really looks like for your business. Sometimes, we
are too close to the business to see the obvious
marketing solutions. Smart markets will use this as
an opportunity to keep their share of the pie—and
take a piece from their (sleeping) competitors,
ensuring they are well positioned for growth as the
Oh, one last thing. Make all of your employees smile
before they pick up the phone or greet a customer. A
smile goes a long way toward cementing a business
relationship. Smiles are free – so make them a part
of your recession-proofing game plan. Try it for 30
---Source: Bob Martel is principal consultant at the
JMB Marketing Group. JMB Marketing works with
business owners and principals to help them take
their business where they want it to go, ultimately
to help them generate all of the business they can
handle. He may be contacted at (508) 481-8383, or
through his web site,
him at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments
about this article.
To read the first
seven tips, see Bob’s article from last week’s