imagesI was at a business expo recently in Green Bay, WI, and ran into a prospect that we’ve been talking to, on and off, for more than 6 months about inbound marketing and the impact it could have on his business. Before I could even shift the conversation from small talk to re-starting the discussion about inbound, Jerry (not his real name!) said “Hey, I want you to know I’ve been reading all your blogs, and all this inbound stuff makes complete sense for our business. We’re going to get started just as soon as we’re not so busy.”

Here are just a few of the clever things I wish I had said, but didn’t:

  • And I suppose you’ll start saving for your retirement right after the party.
  • No reason to put fresh batteries in your smoke detectors before a fire starts, that would be wasteful.
  • Ignore those silly tread inspections; You don’t need new tires as long as the old ones still hold air.
  • I’ll bet your horse and buggy got a few stares in downtown Green Bay today.
  • You don’t need to see your doctor; tightness in your chest is normal for a guy your age.
  • Holding on to the old ways makes a lot of sense. Oh, did you hear Brett is starting on Sunday? He still has a lot left in his tank!

You get the picture, right? Jerry understood that the combination of SEO, web updates, good list building, and a focused, dynamic content strategy, in the context of an integrated marketing plan, could have a powerful effect on his sales funnel and lead generation efforts. But he also knew that there would be a lot of work involved to launch a comprehensive inbound strategy. And he understood that he and his team were already stretched pretty thin trying to keep their funnel filled the old fashioned way in an economy that has many potential buyers doing far more looking than buying.

SO, just how does a business embrace a new approach while working hard to keep the train on the tracks? Here are a few ideas, not necessarily in any order:

  • Study buyer behavior trends. If more buyers in your industry are using search as a primary means of identifying potential vendors, your funnel is losing potential customers before you even get started.
  • Quantify the opportunity. How much more relevant web traffic would you need to attract to find the number of qualified leads that would ultimately lead to enough new business to justify a new approach?
  • Assess your current web performance. If your site isn’t attracting significant interested traffic, why do you have a web site? You wouldn’t keep a sales manager around who just sat waiting for the phone to ring.
  • Map out your current sales process to identify the lowest value steps, and consider reallocating low productivity resources to start an inbound marketing team.
  • Go to www.hubspot.com to start learning the basic how’s and why’s behind inbound marketing.
  • Subscribe to this blog (see button, above) for daily insights on inbound and online marketing strategy and performance improvements.
  • Consider using an outside resource (like Weidert Group!) to provide the instant horsepower and experience needed to get started.

Consider the classic example of insanity is the person who keeps doing the same thing while continuing to believe they will get different results. Isn’t it time you stopped talking about what you could do, and starting doing it?