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Leverage is for more than pulling a cork

January 20, 2012

While attending a reception at a big conference last nite, the person I was chatting with at one of the “bars” asked for a glass of wine. The bartender had just finished one bottle and needed to open another.

Waiters CorkscrewWe stood there in amazement and watched as she took a waiter’s corkscrew – like the one pictured here – and proceeded to twist the metal all the way into the cork, and then try, with sheer muscle to pull the cork out (almost an impossible task for anyone but the strongest or those willing to get wine all over themselves). She had no idea how to use the corkscrew correctly in leveraging the end on the bottle to pull the cork out, so my friend came to her rescue and show her. (If you don’t know, you can learn here)

So what does this have to with marketing? In a way, everything. Lets start with the obvious – are your people trained correctly to work with your customers? Do they know how to use the tools that make serving your customers easier, more effective or simply excellent? (she clearly missed the lesson on opening a bottle)

The less obvious lesson here is leverage. What is your force multiplier for your marketing? How do you get your word out through your alliances and partners? What are you doing to delight your customers so that they talk about you. Where are you spending time in creating content and making sure it has permanence for long term (long tail) search value. Who in your company is your evangelist or evangelists and what tools have you given them to keep getting the word out for you. Why are you doing anything in marketing that is not repeatable and leverage-able because all the cost and time is invested in the first time you do anything.

So, unless you don’t have to do marketing, because demand for your products and services is unlimited, take a step back and look at your leverage points. Where can your partners, your alliances, your customers and you employees help you further develop your business – new customers, current customers and service excellence. And think about the corkscrew and leverage - as I see it, you have 3 choices when it comes to opening that bottle or in your marketing:

  1. Use brute strength to force the issue (and exhaust yourself and make a mess)
  2. Use the tool correctly and make your life easier
  3. By a bottle with a screw-cap and take the simple way out (and with marketing, that means getting some help from a professional)
Dan Kraus
Written by Dan Kraus

With more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, and go-to-market strategies, Dan Kraus has developed a deep portfolio of experiences that he now uses to help small businesses profitably grow their businesses. As an entrepreneur, Dan understands the challenges of growing a business with limited capital and human resources. As a line of business manager in larger companies such as SAP America and Great Plains Software (now part of Microsoft), his experience launching new business ventures inside reputable organizations established his reputation as a creative and effective executive that could both plan and execute within corporate confines.

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