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Monday, January 26, 2009

SALES & MARKETING: Timely Truths for Tough Times

Sales and Marketing with Bill Doerr

Bill's section is brought to you by qAlias

15 Second Speed-Read

Now that the transition of power is completed, it's clear there's 'more bad news' to come with our economy. Regardless, there are some timely truths to keep in mind that may help you get through these challenging times and into better ones in the future.

Meet Zeke
I met Zeke Camusio through an excellent online business community we both belong to -- He wrote an article (several, actually) and I really liked his style and insights. So we connected and he agreed to be interviewed for this article.

Zeke is in his mid-20's and is a self-described 'serial entrepreneur'. The E-bug hit him when was around 16 years old and he's been involved in six (6) successful ventures since then. Currently, he's the head of The Outsourcing Company -- a Denver-based firm that partners with its clients to help them leverage the internet to enjoy increased revenues and success. He lives in Aspen, CO and has a second office in New York City. A graduate of business school in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he is a delightful and passionate young man with an eclectic mixture of skills and attitudes that make people and businesses successful.

Truth #1: "Be Committed" and Truth #2: "Make an Investment"
As a poster-child for modern technology, Zeke's into using anything and everything he can to achieve his clients' marketing objectives. Mostly though, he is highly selective about who he'll work with -- preferring a client who understands that marketing, to be done effectively, requires 2 keys: 1) commitment to 'stay the course', and 2) money.

I like that. It's not what many prospects want to hear, but they will ignore this reality at the peril of their ability to be profitable. Maybe even to exist when the current recession ends.

Truth #3: "Don't Be Cheap"
Zeke told me, "I charge a fair price for the services we provide. But we're not the lowest priced firm offering the kind of services we do". Again, I like that. The operative word is 'fair', not 'lowest'. Low pricing runs the risk of making you into the guy who brings a knife to a gunfight. Technically, you've got a weapon. Practically, it's likely to get you killed!

I asked Zeke about what prompts prospects to be interested in his services. "There are 2 main reasons . . . First, 'Not Enough Traffic' is going to their website. Second, 'Not Enough Revenues' are being generated after they arrive". Not uncommon. And you and I know these are symptoms of what really needs attention. That's the starting point for Zeke and his team to roll-up their sleeves, dig deeper and apply their knowledge, experience, skills and abilities to correct the client's situation.

The Epiphany
While his current company started in 2002 and has enjoyed a considerable success, it became problematic for him. In fact, Zeke felt he was growing so fast that his ability to satisfy his clients' expectations was being compromised. That made Zeke reflect on how he was running his business. Specifically, he was looking into some fundamental beliefs about how he wanted to operate his business. He discovered changes were necessary.

Truth #4: "Focus on Your CORE Client"
Zeke felt that, while on the basis of revenues alone, he was doing well. In terms of how he and his team felt about their working environment, there was room for improvement.

Even at the ripe 'old' age of 25, Zeke knew that attempting to be all things to all people is what paves the road that leads you to marketing hell.

"We decided to set our own standards of who we'd work with as a client. We didn't want revenue alone. Every client offered us that. We wanted clients offering us a mutually beneficial relationship. Relationships that gave us more than just revenues and our clients more than just our services".

That decision -- to be selective -- took a lot of courage to admit. Even more to act upon.

"We told our clients the truth, " Zeke said. "We admitted we were overloaded with clients and we shouldn't be working with every one of them". It took a few months, but Zeke and his team pared down his clientele to a core of clients that were a really 'good fit' for his business and, vice versa.

Truth #5: "Attraction is The Other Side of Rejection"
It's ironic. You may have learned this earlier in life. In school. At a dance. Or, a club. Remember someone you found really, really attractive? It was probably someone who either was or, seemed to be 'unavailable'. Zeke found this is true in business, too.

"Once we made the decision about the kind of client we wanted, we posted a notice on our website about who we did NOT want as clients". I asked, "What happened?". Zeke replied, "Well, we actually found we had more prospects . . . of the kind we wanted . . . seeking us out".

Truth #6: "Working with Clients You Want . . . is More Fun!"
Zeke allowed that, while he's no longer taking on 'everyone with an open checkbook', he is having more fun with those who pass muster with his selection process. "We get involved in a client's life, their business and, most importantly . . . their vision of the future we can create together".

Zeke's learned that there's more than one way to be paid. And not all forms of payment (i.e. psychic income) are deemed taxable by the IRS!

Closing Thoughts
We concluded our conversation with these words from Zeke: "If you're thinking of starting a business . . . GO FOR IT!" This is actually a great time to start one. Yes, people are cautious. But so are your competitors! Find a need and fill it well. It's true. While others are holding back in these 'tough' times, you can be earning a share of mind and market and be nicely positioned when this economy improves -- as it always does. Next he added, "DON'T GIVE UP . . . too soon or easily!" Success takes time. Like an apple tree. You plant a seed. You nurture its potential. THEN . . . you reap the 'fruits' of your labor. Good advice from an inspiring entrepreneur to keep in mind as these challenging days come and go -- listen well -- and succeed!

Zeke Camusio is the founder of The Outsourcing Company in Denver, CO. He and his team like to work with carefully selected clients to leverage the internet, build their brand and grow their success. You can reach him through his blog:

Bill Doerr, CCO of SellMore Marketing, LLC is the creator of The Ultimate Client Development System® which helps professionals and small business owners build relationships, referrals and revenues by design, not accident. You can reach Bill by phone at: 860-798-6964, online: and by email:


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