I often get calls from business owners telling me they need marketing because their sales have “dipped”. I dig a bit deeper asking questions about why they think revenue and retention have dropped. I get the following:
- My competition is eating me a live
- I need better employees
- My customers don’t value me like they used to
- I’m not competitive anymore
- No problem – I just need marketing!
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When I get these type of responses, it’s the red flag zone for me. 99% of the time there is a deeper issue and marketing is the last thing they should be focused on right now.
My next step is to head to their office – I want to be there first thing in the morning when employees are showing up. I want to just watch, listen… and learn. What I typically find is an unhappy situation, a morgue with Stepford Wife type employees who fake being happy there. Where’s the boss? In his/her office drinking coffee, with the door closed. It’s Monday and there is work to do. The Grind. The Misery.
In my line of work, the #1 reason most companies fail to thrive is due to their culture and the lack of a leader who understands the importance of TEAM.
When you hire the right employees into the right culture with a leader who embraces a culture of learning and mentoring– your customer experience will soar.
It all comes back to the Core Values of the company – the driving principals. The Ten Commandments – it’s how you act internally and how you project yourself externally. When there is a disconnect with the Core Values of the owner and those of the employees – it becomes a hot mess and those dissatisfied employees become a cancer – which then trickles down to the customer experience.
If your retention and revenues are dipping – please take a hard, holistic look at your business and ask WHY. WHY are customers not sticking? It’s rarely because of price or your competition – it’s because of their experience with you and your brand. They left because they didn’t feel the love and someone else was loving them more than you were.
Employees matter. Culture matters. Most importantly, how your employees express your culture to your customers matters.
Until you fix this – don’t spend a dime on marketing. You are tossing dollars out the damn door.