Its Really An Accountability Issue

    January 4, 2005

You’ve studied, you’ve learned, you’ve got a game plan and you’re well intentioned. So why is it that you still don’t seem to get around to executing the marketing plan?

The phone rings, the copier jambs, the fantasy football stats need updating . . . see, the problem with marketing plans in general is that, left alone, they don’t create marketing results.

Now, I’m a big fan of marketing plans. This time of year you should pull out a big giant piece of paper, sit down with your staff and map out a month-by-month strategy for your marketing activities. (See calendar tool above)

What, you say you’ve done that before and it’s gotten you nowhere. If you’re like most small business owners then the problem isn’t’ the plan, the problem is the priority. Marketing seems to be one those activities that small business owners put on the “I’ll get to that on Friday” list. Come Friday though, that list is really big or you’re out of creative gas.

I suspect you may have guessed where I’m headed with this. In order to make anything a priority, to give it the attention it deserves, you must force yourself to focus on it. One of the best ways to do that is to schedule marketing work like you would an appointment with a client. Once an appointment is in your book you don’t schedule over it, you keep it. Of course, the only problem with this strategy is that many people simply lack the discipline to keep an appointment that they make with themselves.

The way around this is to find someone that you trust, someone that can advise you on marketing issues and schedule your marketing appointment with them. In other words, get a marketing coach. A good marketing coach, like a good anything coach, will help you develop a game plan and then hold you accountable for executing that plan. That accountability, more than any other aspect of a coaching relationship, is invaluable.

Imagine how far you could take your marketing efforts if you had a specific marketing assignment each week, the assignment was critiqued by an expert and then confidently acted upon by you and your staff.

Now imagine what six weeks or six months of this type of focus would mean.

I have been working with groups of small business owners in this very fashion for a number of years and I can tell you that results are impressive. And, I’m convinced that the primary reason is that they knew that I would be there to check up on their progress at the scheduled time.

It’s just a bit of human nature. When you decide to make something a priority, you can always get it done. I have tricked myself repeatedly into getting into running shape each spring by simply entering a race. That defined deadline and scheduled appointment had a powerful pull.

Want to get your feet wet in this whole marketing coach thing?

I have developed a five-week program based on creating a referral marketing system. Each week for five weeks up to 10 small business owners meet with me on the phone to receive lessons and examples on ways to build powerful referral systems. The group also receives and completes specific homework and both group and individual feedback. Participants tell me that they absolutely love this group format and sharing with other small business owners.

My current group is full but I still have openings in my upcoming group. If you sense that all your marketing really needs is big dose of accountability mixed with some proven marketing strategies and tools then a Referral Flood Power Group is just the ticket.

John Jantsch is a veteran marketing coach, award winning blogger and author of Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide published by Thomas Nelson – due out in the fall of 2006 He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small business marketing system. You can find more information by visiting