It's a jungle out
there. You are not paranoid; they really are out to get you. Doing business
in the highly competitive environment of the 90's requires the boldness
and ingenuity of a veteran commercial mercenary.
in business are the renegades, the rebels who break all the rules, who
use information and surprise to gain a tactical advantage. There are
ten characteristics that set these guerrillas apart. Study them. Sell
The average business in America invests only 3% of gross sales in marketing.
The guerrilla averages 10%. Guerrillas believe that the difference between
winning and losing, more often than not, is a very slim margin. So they
invest heavily in technology, in people, and in themselves. They are
constantly expanding their horizons, constantly training, and constantly
on the lookout for anything that will give them a slight advantage.
Poor selling done consistently will be more effective than great
selling done sporadically. In the mind of your customers, consistency
is interpreted as credibility, longevity and success. Guerrillas earn
this confidence by communicating their identity, not their image. They
are very resistant to changing their name, their logo, their color scheme.
Be consistent and you will outsell the better armed, better equipped,
better organized corporate regulars.
Guerrillas believe in their products, their services, and their people.
They count on others in the organization to deliver on every promise,
every time, and then some. If you can't feel that kind of confidence,
you're working for the wrong outfit. When something goes wrong, take
personal responsibility for making it right, right away.
A guerrilla will set in the trees for days waiting for a clear shot.
Less than 4% of sales are made on the first call, over 80% are made
after the eighth call. Guerrillas are always on the lookout for the
next need cycle, and strive to be there when the need arises. So stick
with it. Keep mailing out your brochure.
The old days of Henry Ford, when "you can have it any color you want,
as long as it's black" are long gone. Guerrillas offer a wide variety
of goods and services, and adapt their offerings, their terms, even
their delivery schedules to meet the customers' needs. Look for the
new, the unusual, the unique, and add it to your offering. Ask customers
what they'd like to see. The more flexible you can be, the better. The
more options you offer, the more people you can serve, and the more
successful your company will be.
Guerrillas are in this for the long haul, and getting the order is only
the first step. Guerrillas spend 10% of their resources educating the
universe, promoting the business to the community at large. They spend
30% of their time marketing to prospective customers. But they spend
a whopping 60% of their time, energy and money marketing to people who
have already bought. Why? It costs five times as much to sell a new
customer as it does to make the same sale to an existing customer. Guerrillas
sell and re-sell and re-sell the benefits of their offering.
Any behavior that is rewarded will tend to be repeated, so guerrillas
reward every customer and client for the opportunity to serve them.
It's the thirteenth doughnut in the baker's dozen; it's doing everything
you promised, everything the customer expected, and more. And because
expectations are constantly changing, guerrillas are always asking "how
are we doing?" and "how can we improve." Survey your customers. Get
out in the field and talk to them. If you do exactly what they tell
you, you cannot fail.
Guerrillas are both receptive and responsive. They know that they
have to be "user friendly." That means easy to reach, easy to talk to,
and easy to do business with. They return their calls. They give out
their numbers at home, at the office, in the car. They keep phones staffed
at night and on weekends, even if only by an answering service. They
are in touch. Be available. Lend an ear to your customers when they
have a suggestion, a question, or a problem. And do everything immediately.
Guerrillas are enthusiastic, and militantly optimistic. They have a
good word for everyone, and never complain about the weather, the economy,
or the people they work for. Their passion spreads like a wildfire.
People love to do business with people who love their business. Spread
good news and cheer about your people and your industry to everyone
you meet. Start a one-guerrilla revolution to turn your corner of the
economy around. Launch a success conspiracy. Enthusiasm is contagious.
The guerrilla is enlisted in a larger mission than just closing the
deal and getting the order. They are deadly serious about adding value
and serving the community. When a customer complains, the guerrilla
tracks down the cause and corrects it, whatever it takes. They have
no time for excuses and apologies, and they never argue with results.
They treat every customer as if the survival of their business depended
on it, because it does.
Get committed to
your marketing effort, and if you're more comfortable hosting receptions
or maintaining membership rolls, assign someone to be your full-time
designated guerrilla. It's time we launched a revolution in American
business. You have no choice. To survive in today's brutal economic
environment, you must become a guerrilla.