Without progress or advancement, there is stagnation. In the business world, this leads eventually to demise. Why must businesses grow? Why must they prosper? What if they’re comfortable doing what they do best? Why do they need to pursue opportunities? Why must they expand? Why must they develop new products and services? Why do they have to think about new streams of income? The answers to these questions lie in the fact that a successful business breeds complacency.  Complacency breeds failure because you lose sight that things are constantly changing all around you. Customers’ demands change, economics change, technology changes, rules, regulations and the laws change, demographic markets change, and competition dynamics change.

As we move into the New Year, I gave considerable thought about what I wanted to share.  Since marketing is my favorite subject and what I think is the really fun side of running a business, I felt it appropriate to unpack one of my key lessons that I used to teach in NxLeveL for Entrepreneurs.

Fun fact. Did you know there’s not a 100, 50 or even 10 ways you can successfully grow your business?  There’s only 3. Yes, that’s right 3!

Before you jump into watching the video (The Three Ways To Grow Your Business), I want to first clarify the difference between sales and marketing.

Marketing strategy is what gets you to the customer’s door (or in their head) in the best possible light. Sales strategy is what you do when you are inside.  Carefully coordinated linkage between your company’s sales strategy and its marketing strategy is crucial for long-range success in a crowded market. Visualize a canoe being paddled on both sides. That means it’s critical to present a unified message (we deliver what we promise) both internally and externally.

The key word of course is strategy. It’s all about having the right strategy. That’s because strategy dictates product planning, strategy tells you how to communicate internally and externally, strategy tells you where to focus.  A great business strategy without proper marketing will often fail in a highly competitive world.

And all the marketing in the world won’t convert into sales until you understand why you never try to position your product or service on its own merits. You have to position your role in the relationship with the decision maker, and your primary role is to understand the decision maker’s Wants. By telling the decision maker that you understand his or her Wants-before you address his or her Needs-you’re positioning your product and service as the answer to those Needs. That means you’re the goods…not your product or service!