'No' is the second best thing you can hear.

  1. ‘Yes!’

  2. ‘No.’

  3. Everything else.

(Things you want to hear in a sales meetings)

Sales is pretty simple - people either want your product, or they don't. A quick 'YES' and you're all good to go. A quick 'NO' and you move on to the next lead. All the other things you typically hear (e.g. let me think about it, can we do something a little different, can we try for free) can potentially become a massive waste of time.

Continuous follow-ups, negotiations and meetings are a drain. They might turn into a 'YES', but usually, it's just wasted time that you'll never get back (3 months of negotiations that lead to nowhere anyone?). It might even be time that's better spent on another potential customer.

Instead of working on luke-warm leads, it's better to get people to say 'NO' quickly. It frees you up to work on other things. OR, it can also get the customer to justify why they're talking to you in the first place and show that they're serious (gets to ‘YES’ faster - counter intuitive, but it works).

So, first try to get a 'YES'. If there's no clear 'YES', try to get a 'NO'. And then move on.

You have limited time, use it wisely.

Don't Be Cheap (or the Cheapest Option)

The worst strategy (and we will assume here that you have an actual business strategy) is to be the lowest cost option. Here are four reasons why being the cheapest doesn't help your business:

You anchor your business with the worst of your competition

If you're selling gadgets and electronics, it doesn't matter how good your device is, being the cheapest means that you're associated with being a knock-off, unreliable and maybe even just a toy.

You could have the next most excellent smartphone that's on par with the latest Apple, Samsung or Google device, but because it's a third of the price, people are going to be hesitant. A few people might buy your product, but most will probably stick with the more expensive equivalent.

Being cheap in this instance will have people comparing you with Huawei, Pocophone or 1+. You might win that battle and capture their market share, but that wasn't your intention in the first place.

Apple wins despite being the most expensive option.

You become a vendor and not a partner

As a marketing consultancy, we refuse to act as vendors. We've discovered from experience that clients who price shop and look for the cheapest option are just looking for a vendor that can help them complete a to-do list. This is not the space that we want to play in.

We understand that what we do best is becoming partners with a client. It's not just about the tasks. It's also about the strategy, guidance and advice we provide - you can't put an exact price on this, and you can't price shop for it either.

Being just a vendor means that you can be replaced with another vendor at any moment. That's a dangerous and risky game we don't want to play.

You will burn out to stay afloat

Low prices mean you have to shift a lot of product/service, and that can be very stressful. Imagine the number of cars Toyota needs to sell to make a profit compared to the number of cars Rolls Royce needs to sell to make a profit. They're playing a completely different game and selling to a different audience, but there's a noticeable difference in approach. In 2018 Rolls-Royce sold 4,107 vehicles in 2018 (the most in the brand's 115-year history), Toyota, on the other hand, sold 220,910 vehicles in December 2018 alone (and that was just in North America).

We all have limited time, and doing less work means you're able to spend more time on each of your projects. It allows you to deliver more value, thinking about all the little details and justifies why you're charging more too.

Someone will undercut you one day

Being cheap can work, but your advantage will, without question, disappear one day. It could be a significant competitor who wants to bankrupt you or maybe someone willing to cut corners to undercut prices. It doesn't matter. There will be someone ready to do what you do, but cheaper. You can count on it.


In a similar vein, being cheap and looking for the most economical option doesn't help either. There's a balance between finding an ideal partner and keeping to a strict budget - but you can't always let the bottom line make all the decisions for you.

When it comes to finding a marketing consultancy (we will always go back to that since we have the most experience in this), going with the cheapest option means also making compromises. Instead of getting the agency to do the work, you will end up having to do a lot of the work anyway. Worst case, you spend a bit of money and six months down the line have to throw everything away and start from scratch. Instead of saving money, you end up paying more, AND you wasted six months. It's not worth it.

Expensive options work because there's a market for it. There's a reason they exist, and it's because other people see value in what they do. Expensive and terrible companies, they don't last very long.

Marketing With No Intention

Marketing For The Sake or Marketing Never Works

Social media is great. Everybody is doing it. So we should be doing it too, right?

Our competitors hire top photographers and videographers. We should be doing that too, no?

In an ideal world, we all have unlimited time and unlimited money. We would be able to hire the top talent and create incredible work day after day, after day.

We've never met anybody that fits the bill, we would bet good money that we won't ever meet them either.

With budget and restrictions come tough decisions.

Marketing isn't just about what you do, it's also about what you don't do (and deciding what not to do is more important than you think).

Good marketers don't go off and do everything - they work with intention (and of course strategy). When they decide on what needs work, they do it properly. They don't spread themselves too thin.

Working on everything usually means not seeing results from anything. Working on just a few things and putting all your effort into it? Chances of seeing results are MUCH higher.

Marketing works ONLY when you do it right.

Everybody Needs A Strategy

Do You Have A Marketing Strategy?

We need a new logo, a blog, video content, be on Instagram, do SEO/SEM, etc. Do you really?

When companies approach us, they usually already have something in mind. They notice a lack of X (for example, social media), and they want a solution for X (social media idea, direction and execution). Yes, we can help, but before we do, we want to figure out WHY you need X (do you actually need social media?).

When you don't have a marketing strategy, you end up doing a little bit of everything (everyone is on Instagram, so we should be on Instagram). 'Marketing' never stops because there's always something that can be done better - logos, websites and content can continually be improved. You don't have an unlimited amount of time or money, how do you decide on what to work on?

A marketing strategy is essential because ultimately, it makes your life easier. With a strategy in place (even if it's a bad one), you can easily decide on what to do because you already have a direction to move towards. Figuring out what not to do is just as important as figuring out what you should do.

If you say YES to something, what are you saying NO to?

Don't Confuse Marketing Strategy and Marketing Tactics

Strategy and tactics are not the same thing

It's easy to confuse the two, but it's essential to understand the difference because you have to treat them very differently.

A coffee shop could look decide to grow its business by increasing turnaround and sit-down customers. Their strategy is to become known as the best place to hold meetings/catch-ups.

There are 100s of tactics that they can try. They can work with staff to keep tables clear regularly, remove food items that encourage people to stay, remove power outlets or reduce wi-fi speeds to discourage freelancers from staying too long, increase spaces between tables and have less overall people to allow for conversations to take place (and more privacy also), etc...

If one of these tactics fail, you can abandon it (or improve it) and move on.

Tactics can fail (and they often do), but that doesn't mean that there's something wrong with your strategy.

Tactics add up. They don't all have to be home runs.

But if you abandon the strategy and let the rules slip, everything goes out the window.

Tactics are a dime a dozen.

Strategy takes time.

You've Created Something Awesome - Where Are The Sales?

Action > Awareness

For most new businesses, the biggest challenge is getting people to pay attention. It doesn't matter if they're doing great work if nobody knows about it. Thankfully, you can buy attention (hello social media, digital ads and all other forms of paid marketing/media).

What about companies that have all the attention in the world? Their issue isn't lack of attention but lack of action.

They can't get people to sign up.

They can't get people to buy things.

Nobody does anything.

If you have people's attention, but people aren't acting, something along the way isn't working. Is your product not good enough? Are you in front of the wrong people? Is the value delivered just not valuable enough? In this case, more attention won't fix the problem; it's something else.

If things aren't going the ways you want them to go, make sure you're fixing the right problem.