One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is hiring someone to market their businesses.
Many of the ‘salespeople’ cannot actually sell anything!
They are office type of executives who are afraid of even making a small presentation in front of a room full of prospects. Their idea of marketing is sitting down in office, writing a ‘marketing plan’ usually of over 50 pages, complete with graphs and projections of the next ‘5-years’ sales and their marketing budget.
When you dig deep into their numbers, you realize they plan to generate revenue by placing ads in newspapers, tv, radio and making phone calls. They also have included big costs for their marketing facilitations and salary.
Unfortunately, most marketers don’t provide a clear strategy of marrying marketing with sales so that your brand is made visible, client requests are followed up in time, proposals sent and leads converted into actual sales. For small businesses, the marketing and sales functions are one. Many people calling themselves marketers lack such understanding.
They want to come and sit, write reports and tell you stories for not bringing sales. Meanwhile they are a big cost.
You have to spend over Ugx. 1m (US $400) in mileage, US $200 in airtime and eats and another US $2,000 in monthly salary. They won’t accept working on commissions based on their generated revenue. From experience, if you have to work with one, don’t pay a monthly salary. Just facilitate them. Really if they are coming to grow sales, why can’t they accept being paid a percentage of the total revenue they bring to the business!
And once one gives you a 15+ pages marketing plan, get worried. Details are for lawyers. In marketing, brief is gold. You want to see clear actions/ activities to be done and the costs. Anything verbose is suspect and don’t hire.
Remember, the best marketer for your business is you the owner – you understand the products/ services and why people should buy from you. And that happens to be the most important thing.
Wish you success in your marketing.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, MBA. 2014 All rights reserved.