We are fortunate to live in a day and age where today's successful founders and CEOs are willing to share their secrets that have propelled their growth so that others can model the success of those who have come before them. As Kevin Spacey famously said, "If you're lucky enough to do well, it's your responsibility to send the elevator back down."
While searching for sage advice from companies that already have a proven track record, I urge you not just to read through these insights, but also think about the ways you can incorporate them into your business. Massive action trumps great ideas every day of the week. So read, be inspired, but above all TAKE ACTION!
In order to reach out to so many successful CEOs, I partnered with Raz Choudhury, founder and CEO of SAM.AI to help solicit and organize the more than 500 responses.
D S Simon Media created a highlight video from an in person CEO Round Table event. The quotes below are representative of the sage advice received. For the unedited, complete list of quotes received, you can read them all here.
"To scale your company, the CEO must let go of the sales role," says Art Saxby, CEO of Chief Outsiders
"I realized that I could not scale my company if I remained the #1 sales person. I took a hard look at why I was successful selling where others in my organization were not. I selected the best people in my company, gave them ongoing professional sales training. Then I let go. Letting go and allowing them to learn to sell was the hardest part. On the Inc 5000 again this year (4th year) and I represent 0% of sales for the last 4 years. Selling is a professional process that some people can learn."
"Don't roll your eyes, but actually it's our email newsletter," says Phil Frost, Founder and COO of Main Street ROI
"If I was to pick just one tactic, then I'd have to say our Email Newsletter. I know a lot of people roll their eyes at such a boring, old school tactic, but it's a key driver for our growth and because of that a lot of our marketing centers around how to get more subscribers. Our email newsletter nurtures and engages our audience of over 33,000 so when a subscriber is in need of our services, she simply clicks reply or request a quote on our website. We can also segment our list and run targeted email promotions with a few mouse clicks. It's hard to think of a more effective tactic for nurturing your audience and driving leads and sales."
"Partner with truly like-minded clients," says Brian Schultz, Founding Partner/Chief Experience Officer, We're Magnetic
"At We're Magnetic, our growth strategy has been driven first by building a team of experts and committing to industry education vs sales promotion, positioning us as thought leaders vs sellers of services. As a result, clients often come to us for consultation and guidance on how to build and integrate experiential efforts into their marketing plans in meaningful ways. As mutual trust is established, the partnership and scope of work develops and often results in these clients referring us to others. Of course, we also proactively seek new partners, and we place tremendous importance on the initial vetting and "chemistry" process. We believe that the greatest opportunities will only come if we first partner with truly like-minded clients that share our views on brand building and the value of experiential marketing in today's culture."
"Ongoing successful client projects and cultivating a loyal and eager following on LinkedIn," says Bruce E. Teitelbaum, CEO, RPG
"New business development is typically among the most provoking issues any company faces. While many key fundamentals of new business development strategy remain largely unchanged, the communication tactics by which we reach new targets are constantly evolving. As CEO of RPG, I've found that there are two key actions that have proven most successful for me: leveraging our ongoing successful client projects and cultivating a loyal and eager following on LinkedIn. The LinkedIn platform allows me to showcase RPG's work directly to an audience of high-level decision makers. I share images and/or news stories on our recent projects which are visually compelling, given the nature of RPG's work in retail design, development and manufacturing. The results of new business inquiries from my LinkedIn posts have been astounding."
"Invest in Sales Rep Training and a New Selling System," says Rick Skidmore, CEO of Timberlane, Inc.
"The most impactful strategy implemented this year that helped drive real growth and reduce the noise is the investment made in sales rep training along with the implementation of a new selling system. This investment has given our team the ability to efficiently work an opportunity from start to finish by focusing more time on qualified prospects and quickly disqualifying suspects. We believe that by investing in our team and their individual growth, we invest in the growth of our company."
"Decide if it's better to build or buy" says David Ciccarelli, CEO of Voices.com
"When growing any company, at a certain stage it comes down to a decision between whether to build or to buy. In order to quickly expand Voices.com's footprint in the industry and extend it into a new market, we purchased Voicebank.net, a platform for talent and management agents, including those for well-known celebrity talent. Acquiring a company with an established user base meant we could accelerate growth and better service our customer's needs by connecting them to other users they otherwise would not have known about or had access to. Deploying this tactic has allowed us to fast track our plans considerably, and has prevented us from wasting resources that can be put back in our established marketing program."
"Illustrate and exaggerate the real pain your clients have," says Chuck Brady, Managing Director of VITAMIN T
"The strategy of collaboration between our Marketing & Sales teams. One example would be when we mailed thousands of die cut "zombies" to clients and created an infographic with an online overview of the True Cost of a Bad Hire (along with other fun sales tools that we use to attract attention and keep in the forefront of our client's minds). The fun nature of our positioning (for an age old problem!) engaged our sales teams and captured press coverage in multiple publications. We achieved 25% YOY growth on an already strong service offering by renewing the topic, finding a "playful angle" and providing value-added tools to customers."
"As the CEO, never be too busy to communicate with your customers," says Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media
"If client retention is important, e-mail a thank you note from the CEO whenever a client signs on. It needs to be personalized to show the boss is aware of what's going on. This opens a communication channel in case anything is going wrong but also for praise if things go well. The next part is a follow-up e-mail from the CEO, without the sales rep copied, once the project is completed. Ask how the project went, anything that needs to be wrapped up, who performed well and who might not have. Clients hesitate to communicate when things are less than perfect but not a disaster. This solves that issue. The result has been more than 95% repeat business from our accounts."
"Solve the issue in the way that best serves the customer (and sometimes it isn't you)," says Mark Anthony, President of AAA Training for Success
"Every high performance closer consistently uses the same principle. Before discussing what they have to offer they do two things, first they show genuine interest in the prospect and they ask about what problem or concern the prospect has as well as why it is important to them to solve it. Top closers then solve the issue in the way that best serves the customer (and sometimes it isn't them). This satisfy the need first philosophy leads to more closes, higher repeat volume, larger orders and countless referrals.
"Stop closing and start working for the client from the first inquiry," says Charles H. Green, CEO of Trusted Advisor Associates
"Sample selling. In the professional services environment, this means selling as if you'd already won the project. Obliterate the idea of "closing." Instead, start working for the client from the first inquiry. Don't ask when you're going to get the sale - ask how long you're going to work for free before you start getting paid. Show the client what it feels like to work with you - by working with them."
"Make potential customers feel that working with you is the best and only choice," says Charles J. Wolfe of Charles J. Wolfe Associates, LLC
"What drives sales? Emotions! Feelings drive self-talk and self-talk drives action. My Emotion Roadmap guides customers' feelings from opening to close. When people buy, it seems rational and yet it is always emotional. To drive sales growth, I make potential customers feel that working with me is the best and only choice. A recent client told me, "After my research I was planning to do business with another company but after our talk I have decided to work with you!" Planning emotionally how you want customers to feel leads to more success. Competence, confidence, and warmth drive initial sales, and exceeding expectations additional sales."
"Be clear on the outcome and flexible on the approach," says Camille Preston, Ph.D., PCC and CEO of AIM Leadership
"One of our mantras at AIM Leadership is 'clear on the outcome, flexible on the approach.' All too often, people jump into action without taking time to focus on outcomes first; as a result, they are only to make incremental improvements. By turning the tables to an 'outcome-first' focus, organizations can establish a key differentiator in all areas of business, including sales and marketing."
"Introducing prospects to relevant, compelling new opportunities," says Martin Avallone, President of Working Media Group
"Sales and marketing must work together as an integrated operation - marketing building the brand and generating quality leads for sales to work, close and manage. Working Media Group is a leading media planning, buying, execution and analytics agency serving midsize advertisers and, like other services businesses, we must open and build relationships and earn the trust of every client. We are strong proponents of testing, monitoring and analyzing inbound (PPC and web/call traffic) and outbound (email, LinkedIn, and direct outreach) marketing tactics. In today's cluttered communication, there is no one way to best reach the varied prospects we have. Many times, it's about being in the right place at the right time and so we are constantly "out there" with both inbound and outbound methods. With that said, we find that introducing prospects to relevant, compelling new opportunities is a great way to open the door and get the conversation started."
"Live networking," says Sam Friedman, Founder of SAM+F Design Corp
"The most effective tactic I'd say is "live networking" - May it be at trade shows, social meetings / gatherings, business events, etc. When you meet and socialize with people there's a certain chemistry that builds up between you and the other person that generates a friendship, trust and confident, and once you build that trust you can sell anything you want to them."
"People still crave authentic experiences," says David Todd McCarty, Partner and Executive Creative Director at Panzano+Partners, LLC
"Marketing is changing so quickly and digital is so prevalent that we forget that people still crave authentic experiences, they crave community and intimacy, even if we're reminding them of that need via virtual media."
"Forge Authentic Connections" says Liora Bram, VP, Marketing Services at MyHelp, Inc
"Building a leadership profile for our executives. We contribute articles to business journals, we speak at events, we network and we make connections with and between people. We aren't focused on leads all the time. Instead, we're forging connections amongst our networks, delivering value to others we know, so they, in turn, make great introductions for us. Our company has two co-founders - and we are each committed to making at least two new connections for people within our networks each and every week.
"Actively participating in targeted networking groups in person and on LinkedIn", says Ginny Brandreth, CEO of BrandrethWorks
"Networking. As a sole practitioner, my business success is based 100% about how I position my expertise and deliver it, and no other tactic allows me to do that better than networking. Networking in-person or via LinkedIn allows me to establish my company brand and create a large web of contacts that connects me with peers, vendors, clients and prospects. The key? Showing up. Going to events and actively participating in targeted networking groups, as well as regularly posting and publishing on LinkedIn has created valuable visibility and awareness that continually fuels my business growth."
"Tell Your Clients What They Need to Know, Not What They Want to Hear," says Robert S. Goodman, The Mansfield Group, LLC
"As consultants, growth for The Mansfield Group is driven by the development and maintenance of relationships built upon years of networking, engaging and delivering. We subscribe to a philosophy that is based on telling the client what the need to know and not what they want to hear. If a client demonstrates that they only want to know what they want to hear, then it's time to say "no thank you" and walk away from the client. It's remarkable how often they ask you to come back and sometimes it's actually worth it."
"Challenge long-held assumptions and engage in difficult conversations," says Cynthia Fodell Mott, Founder of CFM Professional Services
"Helping my clients to understand, embrace and institutionalize the power and practice of breaking their path dependence. The impetus behind this involves a willingness to uncover and challenge long-held assumptions and engage in difficult conversations. This strategy demands a fresh take on the decision making process--to turn it upside down and break it, in order to encourage growth and profitability. Another vigorous and meaningful component of this mindset is the adoption of principles that make constraints beautiful."
"Educational Content on YouTube," says Don Fitchett of Business Industrial Network
"Our #1 sales tactic is our Educational Video YouTube channel. They have the highest conversion rate, mainly because they deliver free and often unique education. Plus we embed them on our product webpages to add value there to with little work. Even advertising the educational videos themselves, only cost pennies per view! Work is even less because with BIN95 being an Industrial Education provider, we have virtually unlimited content. Check out our channel here https://www.youtube.com/c/Bin95 So it's a Lean and Green sales and marketing solution. That is how I like them."
"Stop talking and start listening," says Sandy Rubinstein of DXagency
"STOP talking about yourself and listen to the clients business challenges. Once you do you can find ways to help them solve it rather than spending the time you have with them telling them how great you are. Show them with your ideas, creativity and how you address the challenges they are facing. That's when sales becomes easy!"
"Be Honest!" says Don Memberg, President of Modular Diners Inc.
"My most successful sales/marketing "tactic" is simply to tell the truth about the products and services offered when contacted by customers, because getting their trust gives them the confidence to work with me. Many times prospects call after a competitor promises them, "the Moon," and they know it just can't be. I agree with them and tell it to them straight, especially about costs and challenges they might not have considered, such as, having enough parking spaces based on real need instead of using a formula that will not work in reality. I want my customers to be successful instead of just selling them a diner. And, if they do, they are kept up-to-date, where they see that they made the right choice to choose Modular Diners, Inc."
"Transparency, honesty and above all, integrity" says Pauline T Mayer, President of PTM Healthcare Marketing, Inc.
"Clients expect solutions from outside resources. It's easy to have a conversation and make believe you understand all that they need but that's impossible. We listen very carefully. That means getting the perspective client to describe who they are, what they sell and their objectives. Once you start dialouging back and forth, we ask questions, many questions. Furthermore, we always leave the table positively and turnaround with a quote in three days after conferring, of course, with my team.
Finally we make ourselves available to answer any questions the client may have, at "their" convenience. Bottom line: it's important to listen carefully and be totally honest of your capabilities. Furthermore if we cannot meet their objectives, and this has occurred many times, we might recommend a competing company. These old fashion business practices result in favorable outcomes for everyone."
"Get them to use your product," says Kevin Greaney, CEO of Assessment Innovation
We are challenging long-held beliefs and antiquated practices in the field of hiring and recruiting through our innovative science and groundbreaking technology. What used to take hundreds of job postings, odious assessments, and weeks of shuffling through' applications can now be done in 3 days through proactive targeted social campaign, 5 minute job-aligned micro assessments, and validated predictive analytics. But our most effective marketing strategy is not to explain the awesome science and technology behind our product (although we can easily show them the data). The secret is to get them to use the product. Once they put their hand on it and see how easy and effective it is, they get it.
"Direct contact is best, especially when it's a referral from an existing client," says Keith Kulper, President of KULPER & COMPANY, LLC
"We have been in business since March of 1997 operating KULPER & COMPANY, LLC. Clearly the most successful approach is direct contact with existing clients and prospects--particularly those that have been referred to us from existing clients."
"Be both proud AND humble," says Jay Sullivan, Managing Partner at Exec/Comm, LLC
The most important tactic we use for both sales and marketing is to remain both proud of what we offer, yet humble enough to know we can be replaced tomorrow if we don't continually work hard to meet client needs. Articulating and reinforcing bedrock principles throughout the organization are more important steps than coming up with next month's sales campaign. If you are humble about the fact that it's a competitive marketplace, you will instinctively do all the right things with clients, such as listening well to their needs. If you're proud of what you offer, you'll negotiate from a position of strength.
"Ask better questions," says Lawrence J. Gurreri, CEO of Sosemo
"Brand development and acquisition marketing campaigns generate leads and make the sales process easier. However, in the end you still need to close the deal. What we've learned is that there are a handful of issues or concerns that most of our prospects consider and ultimately base their decision on. Our dilemma is that in many cases the clients are not comfortable raising these issues with us. Therefore, the challenge is getting the issues out in the open so that we can tackle them together.
Today we approach every sales lead with the goal of discovering and addressing the underlying issues that make or break the deal. Our team understands the issues and how best to address them. Therefore, questioning gets us closer to the root issues, though, we've also published articles and white papers to help facilitate open discussions."
"Broaden your reach by launching a sister company," says Susan Doctoroff Landay, President of Trainers Warehouse and Office Oxygen
"As a niche business, Trainers Warehouse has marketed unique, innovative products to corporate trainers and educators for over 20 years. Recently, however, we grew increasingly aware of two realities--1) that our market niche has limitations and 2) that our best performing exclusive products have much broader appeal than just the facilitators of learning who we were targeting. In an effort to broaden our reach and expand our market, we launched a sister brand, Office Oxygen. Office Oxygen helps "breathe new life into the workplace" by providing managers, team-leaders, and HR professionals with low-cost tools and resources (like the goodies and toys used by fancy consultants), that make the business of doing work feel less like "work." Key products include conversation starter "Thumballs," making it easier to get to know each other and have important conversations; fidget toys, to relieve stress and improve focus; game show buzzers to enliven meetings; design thinking tools to facilitate strategic discussions; etc. With this unusual product mix, it's been exciting to define a whole new category of products that many people never knew existed."
"Identify a problem, then build and patent a solution to that problem," says Art Suriano, CEO, The TSi Company
"Seeing the problems retailers were having for in-store training, we created a viable solution. Realizing it was a better method for training and one that had never been done before, we were able to get the methodology patented and then registered the name, LTraining®. Marketing a patented training methodology created tremendous curiosity and then once clients began using it, the success they generated continued to lead to more business. Today with over 4 million trainees using LTraining® and retail chains who have seen comp store sales increases as high as 15%, marketing The TSi Company is easy."
"Join as many business to business networking groups and Chambers of Commerce as possible" says Tom Ossa, CEO of Rockland Web Design
"As a company that started with no seed capital at the time of our inception in 2007, it was necessary for us to adopt a grassroots approach - spread the word on our services and benefits provided by Rockland Web Design.In addition to my local town's Chamber of Commerce, I also joined five other networking groups and two additional Chambers in the NY tri-state area.
Obviously this was very time-consuming; I also didn't go in with the mindset of seeking immediate sales. Rather, I deferred profit in lieu of developing trust - I took the time to get to know each of the networking and Chamber participants to develop camaraderie.
The result is that over the course of 10 years Rockland Web Design has developed a trusted source of business referrals that are received; we have also given out many business referrals to those with whom we enjoy doing business."
"Develop proprietary data to drive smart content," says Sean Kelly, Co-Founder & CEO, SnackNation
"Survey your customer avatar to learn what makes them tick. Analyze the data, looking for trends and key insights, and then synthesize the results in a high quality report. Don't skimp - make sure the report is well written, beautifully designed, and provides valuable insights. Promote this content to your avatar via content marketing and paid channels. Because you started by listening, your content is guaranteed to resonate with this group, and you should expect high engagement."
"Launch a Radio Show," says Judy Goss, CEO, What Women Want
"For me, putting an edgy twist on a formerly traditional concept works miracles. I founded a networking organization back in 2011 (traditional), but along the way needed more of a differentiation from other networking groups so decided to merge my media background with it (the twist). So, three years ago I launched a radio show called "What Women Want" that matched the name of my networking company and leveraged it to meet high profile people I wouldn't normally converse one-on-one with, and the success of the show boosted my visibility and set me apart from other companies and brands. I'm proud to say we are still holding strong at 10K listeners/show, and are having our first national women's conference with 300 women in October called "Spirit of Women" in Atlanta, Georgia."
"We tripled our revenue by going all in on content marketing," says Steve Rovniak, Executive Director of Heller Search Associates
"At Heller Search, we went "all in" as a content marketing organization several years ago and, as a result, we have tripled our revenue. With so much change taking place so fast in technology and digital, there is a tremendous opportunity for us to offer tools, articles and stories that help our target audience of CIOs, CEOs and CHROs make sense of it all. For example, most CIO job descriptions that HR professionals have in their files our outdated, so we recently made available a free e-book called The Ultimate CIO Job Description, which also functions as a template. We also send out an e-newsletter every week, each one receiving considerable effort and care to ensure quality and relevance for our readers. These publication have built up our credibility and kept us on people's radar for when they need an executive search firm with IT leadership expertise. We get calls all the time from new clients who say they have been reading and benefiting from our content."
"Make sure your content delivers a high return on engagement," says Stacey Cohen, CEO of Co-Communications, Inc.
"Co-Communications' use of technology and new media has proven to be our largest marketing advantage. Reaching the web-surfing consumer is a high priority for Fortune 500 firms and small businesses alike. We were early adopters of SEO and SEM strategies and tactics, which drove business growth for Co-Communications as well as our clients. We have a keen understanding crafting content that caters to both the consumer and the search engines. For one of our non-profit clients, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, our internet prowess resulted in a $50,000 sponsorship and six-figure donation in dog food by Eukanuba. We were one of the agencies at the forefront of Inbound Marketing which allowed Co-Communications to become more entrenched in clients' sales processes, helping to cultivate leads and drive conversion."
"Lead with your referrals instead of cold calling," says Steve Salzberg, CEO of Cost Reduction Management
"Networking and referrals are the key to opening the door for successful sales presentations. So many companies are cold calling prospects claiming to offer superior service and expertise. Cold calling makes it virtually impossible to present yourself as a premier supplier. You are considered to be another slick sales person making unsubstantiated claims. Referrals establish a basic level of credibility that allow for real dialogue with a potential client or customer."
"Begin with powerful insights," says Tom Spitale, CEO of Impact Planning Group
"Successful tactics have their roots in powerful insights about customer needs that competitors miss. Through a simple-yet-powerful method we call the 'Vietnam Card Sort' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7XPKuOX0HY), our B2B clients radically increase their customer insights.
First, our clients generate a hypothesis of a wide variety of needs that their B2B customers might have. Then, instead of asking their customers 'what are your needs?', our clients ask the question 'which of these needs from our list describe your situation?'
The result: richer discussions that lead to insights, creative strategies and tactics that differentiate our client's products in even the most commoditized markets. We've used this approach successfully in such diverse B2B industries as medical devices, oil & gas services, commercial HVAC, industrial supplies and many more."
"Test, test and test some more. And don't quit after your first campaign," says David Vitarelli, President of AllBrite Property Maintenance
"I can't tell you how many times I have talked with business owners that tried a new form of advertising that quit after the first campaign. For example, A good friend of mine added email marketing to his marketing mix, because he didn't get the overwhelming response he was looking for...he quit. I tried to talk sense to him and explain about tweaking the campaign by changing the ad copy and landing page and how to look for open rates that lead to CTR's then to page views....but he wasn't having it. My best advice is to have multiple channels and set short term and long term goals."
"Clearly qualify your prospects," says Dr. Darren Carter, CEO of NYC SEM
"For me, the most successful sales tactic has been a clear qualification process. As a service provider, having clients who are on the same page is critical to the success of a long-term relationship. Sales can now quickly disqualify prospects whose budgets, growth plans, internal resources or expectations do not fit how we work. For example, clients who are not interested in growing their advertising spends when we can measure profitable success are not a fit."
"Stop cold calling," says Ted Stein, CEO of The Stonepath Group
"I believe in a "no cold call" approach, meaning all sales calls should be made warm through direct or indirect introductions. Cold calls are time consuming, counterproductive and self defeating, with an extremely high rate of burnout. I'm also a great believer in consultative selling. Specifically, beyond just listening, understanding the challenges of your prospect, both specifically, and more broadly within their industry. It will differentiate you as a sales professional, and transfer credibility to your company."
"Listen with true curiosity," says Erika Andersen, Founder/Partner of Proteus
"The core of our sales success comes from listening with true curiosity to understand the most important problems a prospective client is struggling to solve. And if, having understood, we believe we can help them solve one or more of those problems, to then share that possibility in a way that resonates for them so deeply that they decide to move forward with us."
"Unlock the power of Social Media," says David Honig of MarketSearch
"Talent Acquisition has such a need for immediacy on the clients behalf to fill the search and the recruiters role to quickly locate the right candidate; the most effect path to handling marketing awareness building & revenue growth is no doubt through social."
"Stay focused on your core," says Mindy Gibbins-Klein, Managing Director of Panoma Press Ltd
"We kept hearing that we needed to scale, and build a bigger team. Actually, building the team cost us dearly in terms of financial cost but also more complexity to manage. It did not result in more profits and in particular, having new people handle sales and marketing resulted in errors and less personal service to our clients and prospects. We only publish about 30 books each year, and I decided to make time to speak to all prospective clients. They loved having a personal connection with the managing director of the company, and our conversion went back up, as did our bottom-line profits!"
"Diversify your services and the industries you serve," says Lou Hammond, Chairman/Founder of Lou Hammond Group
"A solid business growth strategy informs a solid sales and marketing plan. One of the primary tactics we've used at Lou Hammond Group to guide our growth is diversifying both the verticals we serve and services we offer. This allows us to simultaneously approach new business in adjacent markets while increasing the services we offer our current clients."
"Go global to expand your footprint," says Jonathan Adelson, Founder & CEO of Adelson Strategies
"Language, culture, and differing business practices which vary from country to country can add an additional layer of complexity and impact the success or failure of a collaboration. We didn't hesitate to invest some time and resources to get on a plane to meet on the ground with our client in China at the first conference they hosted to gain a clear understanding of the organization's offerings and approach to defining success."
"Don't be a salesperson, be a client advocate," says Ian Boccaccio, Principal at Ryan
"The best sales tactic I have ever known is not to be a salesmen at all, but rather a client advocate presenting opportunities which enrich the client significantly more than they benefit you. No one wants to be sold to. The service offering must genuinely be in the interest of the client, not of the firm presenting the idea. When we approach the market as true advocates in the interest of the client, engagements come naturally and everyone wins."
"Get to the heart of their pain and speak to that," says Shy Hopkins of America's SBDC New Jersey
I actually find the thing that helps resonate with people the most is to get to the heart of their pain points and speak to that. People tell you directly what they want and need and addressing those needs, while giving them useful information they can immediately put to action is key.
"Help your prospects sell themselves," says Steven Washer, Executive Producer, Visible Authority
"Selling automatically sets up an adversarial relationship between the seller and prospect. That's why it's so difficult. Yes, you can approach it with the idea of transferring your enthusiasm, but that's a stop gap measure, and only if you have enthusiasm for your product or service in the first place. I'm a big believer in engineering sales systems that remove the adversarial element. Helping a prospective client sell themselves takes more thought than forcing yourself to make cold calls, but feeding that kind of system is more enjoyable, profitable and sustainable."
"Think more like a publisher than a marketer," says Cindy Riccio, Founder and President of Cindy Riccio Communications, Inc.
"The most successful sales and marketing tactic CRC has implemented to drive growth is the agency's digital marketing strategy and SEO tactics with combination of optimized content of our social media and influencer marketing engagement. By consistently updating our website with curated blog content and case studies to include keywords for search related to innovation with key PR and digital marketing trends, we have grown our sales lead generation by more than 30%. Our relationships with micro-influencers and thinking more like a publisher than a marketer to create optimized content in a timely manner has made a big impact in our agency's growth as well."
"Personal relationships and reciprocity," says Joe Bonilla, managing partner of Relentless Awareness
"The top tactic we've used to drive growth at our agency is personal relationships and reciprocity in 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' -- our clients drive our referrals and in turn, we utilize our connections with stakeholders, new customers, and government officials to help grow their businesses. There's no replacement for picking up the phone, meeting over coffee or a cocktail, and seeing what could be a 'well' of new opportunities. Ninety percent of our business has been obtained this way and it's been tested over and over again."