I’m in Sioux Falls to give a seminar to a large crowd of business owners. As always, I invited the business owners to email me some questions in advance so I had a few days to think about my answers. This way, I can give more answers more thoughtfully.
One question’s stuck in my craw:
“I own a _____ company. What are the five best ways to advertise for my kind of business?”
I leave the business category out because … well … does it really matter?
You see, don’t you, that his question is completely and dangerously oversimplified.
I don’t know anything about him. I don’t know anything about his competition, and I don’t know much about his market.
And isn’t he really asking:
“Why aren’t more people doing business with my company?”
And wouldn’t he realize, then, that I’d need more information before I could confidently provide him with an answer?
I think so. I hope so. I’ll find out tomorrow.
Then, I’ll tell him about the only three things – in marketing, at least – he really can control.
He has three knobs he can turn. My partner, Roy H. Williams, first taught them to me, and I’ll talk a bit about one each day this week.
In the meantime, before you expect the right answers, make sure you’re asking the right questions.