What would the best marketing consultant in the world do for a company going under?

14 replies
Because I am not the best in the world and the company I'm working for appears to be going under.

First let me explain I'm not really a "marketing consultant". I was brought aboard to do in-house marketing mainly google places, facebook, direct mail where we've only done one failed run so far.

This is the problem ok. There is no leader in the business. Everybody has ideas, we throw ideas back and forth all day long, very little work actually gets done. I KNOW this is the problem, yet its such a personal thing, if I tell the boss, he will fire me. The boss is the real problem imo. Anytime I try to work, he's always nagging and being disrespectful to people. Joking about how his companies going bankrupt which I do not find funny at all. Not to mention what thats going to do for his salesmens spirit and motivation.

We have got essentially NO RAIN all winter, and his business is basement waterproofing. It started getting really bad I mean his bank just keeps getting lower and lower and no leads are coming in whatsoever.

So what happened now was the things I originally planned on doing (google places/facebook/direct mail) can take a bit of time. He needs leads immediately and keeps diverting my attention from working on these things.

Part of me feels he's right, but because theres no real other plan, part of me feels we are all wrong.

We have noone in the office cold calling, I think that could be a start.
We have not done any homeshows and are trying to get one set up asap, and I think that will help a lot too.
As a last ditch effort my brother talked him into starting a second business. Something we can be upselling to people who may not need basement waterproofing, which is essentially high efficiency clean energy systems. Radiant barrier, insulation, ventilation, cfls, water heaters, solar fans for the attic, etc.

We started this second biz in hopes of compensating for the fact that we aren't getting leads from the first. We've tried A LOT of ways of marketing, that use to work fine when it was raining, so I have to assume its not the marketing but the lack of rain thats the real problem for the waterproofing. Then we did our first campaign for the clean energy and hit 100,000 homes, got 1 single call.

Now however, things aren't really getting better. Now all of our attention spans are divided between 2 businesses. Its become twice the work, and noone is exactly sure which business to focus on. One is seasonal, but the jobs sell for twice as much. The other should be easier to get leads for, but its a brand new company and we haven't even began to think of who we're going to target other than homeshows or getting lists and cold calling.

Right now the boss doesn't lead. He lets everyone just kinda do their thing. Noone is sure about anything, we are all confused, we all have tons of great ideas, but then the second an idea is implemented someone always mentions "thats going to take too long to get leads" or "we need leads right now and thats not going to do that for us".

Is the company just f&*ked? We are all disorganized. Noone has clear goals because theres no real business coming in. I feel I know quite a bit about marketing, but I can't put all our eggs in the basket of google places and just keep my fingers crossed. I can't expect that facebook will work or direct mail because we already did one run for the energy audits and got 1 call from a guy saying "whats the catch" when there is no catch. We save people money by making their homes efficient, we waterproof homes that have water coming in the basement.

But we can't get leads and we need them fast.

Should I leave the company and let it sink? I just feel the boss is not professional and thats the real problem. Yes I'm suppose to be helping with marketing, but anything I do he asks "how long is it going to take to get leads?" and I have to say something like "we need more reviews, its a process, etc etc".

Can someone just enlighten me on maybe a better way to focus here or salvage this company before it goes into the ****ter. I really am feeling helpless here. Leads are definitely not easy to come by these days.

edit: could the problem be that we are trying to run these 2 companies seperately? Because the reason he's doing it this way is he is recieving leads from a company he doesn't want knowing that he is competing against. So we forced to kinda hide this second company in many ways. It forces us to operate these 2 business's completely seperately, which kills A LOT of time. And I'm thinking if we just had 1 company to focus on, that offered both services, it may help in terms of marketing. But then he would stop recieving literally the ONLY work he is getting. They give him the jobs, we install them, they cut him a commission and keep most for themself. I always felt this secrecy is going to be an issue, and having 2 seperate business's like this may just be too much for the amount of man power we have. Its such a messed up situation but theres got to be a way we can get some leads. Other business's like the one he's getting leads from gets all their leads from homeshows, cut all their other marketing. So this tells me homeshows might be great for our business.
#company #consultant #marketing #world
  • Profile picture of the author MarketingChad
    Well, you need a leader or someone who is going to make decisions...you could have the best ideas in the world but if they aren't enacted they aren't going to do much good.

    As far as the rain business...you need to adapt. Find a way to market the message as a means of prevention...convince the prospective clients they NEED to take precautionary measures. Sure it's harder than marketing to those who had problems with basement flooding already but you need to get creative.

    What about working with a construction company or developer to strike up a deal and do all of their waterproofing? Think more commercial vs. personal clients. Basically you just have to get creative when finding leads. Companies that are "set in their ways" are going to fail, no doubt.

    I know how frustrating it can be when the boss doesn't listen and doesn't see value in what you are offering. Sometimes they find out the hard way unfortunately but see if you can make them understand....not sure how but try! Good luck, it seems like your head is at least thinking in the right direction!
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Thanks and I do love that idea of marketing with other complimentary business's. That was another thing I mentioned a while back and we made a few calls, and actually established a few ties. Just not enough to actually get leads I guess.

    I do believe marketing with big commercial contractors could definitely help. I think I'll start making some more calls right now actually.

    The thing that is really a bitch about marketing is HOW THE HELL do you focus? When there are so many "potential" ways to bring in leads, but you can't do them all, I don't understand how you refine down just a few that you know will benefit you, then put all your energies into those few things.

    Like things I feel *may benefit us:

    Google places
    Some type of free offer through direct mail
    Canvassing neighborhoods
    cold calling

    But the problem is I'm one guy. Essentially the only one with time to actually be working on these things. So do I have to test every single one then stick with what seems to work, or do I focus on 1 at a time, and keep trying to milk it for weeks/months till I realize it doesn't work or I'm just not doing it right?

    Haha, sorry for bringing you people into this mess. But posting on this forum always helps, and thats all I'm looking for. Not neccessarily answers or solutions, just help and a bit of guidance if possible. Marketing is definitely one of the hardest jobs in the world it really just swallows up so much time its not even funny.
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      Google places
      Some type of free offer through direct mail
      Canvassing neighborhoods
      cold calling

      Of these i would not do cold calling, but I would do homeshows, as it is very targeted. Maybe some direct mail. I would study your competitors and see if you can offer a bonus that is like no other.

      One of our clients had a failing shed business, and I told him to offer sheds with a free beer for a year (20 cartons of free beer) and so many workman saw this ad, and he now sells crap loads of sheds, cause people just hear the words FREE BEER as a bonus and they go nuts over it. He has gone from dead broke to making more money than he knows what to do with.

      U might think it is stupid cause he has to pay for all that beer, but it is with money he never would have had anyway, and he make a very good amount of profits on the shed, the money is no really missed. This is 101 marketing. Mars bars does the same thing, with the win free stuff or mars bars. Even people who do not like chocolate will buy it to win the bonus or extra free stuff. Make your bonus irresistible and you will do well.

      Be DIFFERENT and reap the rewards.
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  • Profile picture of the author joyfulwraps
    Wow, your boss sounds like he really doesn't care about the business surviving!

    One failed run in direct mail? While direct mail can be a tough marketing method, it should not stop your company from trying again or from trying other similar methods. What about postcard marketing where you are offering a discount/coupon for the waterproofing service?

    No leader in the business is definitely a problem as you stated.

    You mentioned cold calling which is a waste of time in my humble opinion. You really need to do some market research on your potential customers, find out where they are, and how to attract their attention. Maybe give something related to your business away for free?

    As far as leaving the company or not, start sending out resumes, network as much as possible because it does not sound like your company will be around for too much longer.

    Sorry about your situation, hope things gets better fast.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Thanks a lot I appreciate it! We actually had our phone girl start doing some cold calling 2 days ago and it was so dissappointing to watch how fast people were hanging up. Of course she had no idea what she was doing and was freestyling, and a script could help a lot more, but overall I can't see that saving the company.

    I do believe the owner can turn into more of a business man once he fails more and learns the hardway, problem is it might take the complete failure of his business before that happens.

    I do definitely need to start sending my resume to other places. That might make myself less paranoid too and maybe I can start working more strategically again like I did when I first got this job. Its crazy how the mental health of your employees can impact the success of an entire company. This guy does nothing but feed negative energy to us all day no wonder we're in the postion we are. Yet at the same time when things are going good, he's still somewhat of an ass, but compensates us extremely generously. Bonuses every week, free trips to random places, free food, free gas, buys us randomn things. He's one of those bosses who you love to be around when things are going good, but when things are going bad its a completely different story!
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  • Profile picture of the author AdwordsMogul
    With all due respect... the boss is not the problem.

    As you have already said, you need to send your resume somewhere else.

    There are things that can be done, but those things will not be implemented, judging from your story.

    The question you need to ask yourself is "What kind of person am I to be working in this company?".

    And that's how you'll get YOUR life on track.
    "Those who can - DO IT. Those who can't, say it's impossible."
    Jean Paul a.k.a AdwordsMogul
    PHPDevelopers.net - Top of the range PHP developers

    Easy Link Saver - Are you tired of the pain of constantly searching for your affiliate links? ( Chrome extension - FREE )
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
      This reminds me of a story a good friend of mine told me long ago...for some reason he wound up with a girlfriend who did a lot of drugs. She OD'd and he had to take her to the emergency room.

      He said he was looking at the doctor going "Doctor, doctor, what's wrong with her?" The doctor looked at him and considering he was settling for someone far below his capacity looked him straight in the eye and said "What's wrong with you?"

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      • Profile picture of the author AdwordsMogul
        Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post


        He said he was looking at the doctor going "Doctor, doctor, what's wrong with her?" The doctor looked at him and considering he was settling for someone far below his capacity looked him straight in the eye and said "What's wrong with you?"


        Bill, thanks for this one - funny thing, I needed to hear this too regarding an aspect of my life.
        "Those who can - DO IT. Those who can't, say it's impossible."
        Jean Paul a.k.a AdwordsMogul
        PHPDevelopers.net - Top of the range PHP developers

        Easy Link Saver - Are you tired of the pain of constantly searching for your affiliate links? ( Chrome extension - FREE )
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Great thank you so much guys I feel a lot more focused right now and appreciate all the help. I wound up updating my resume and already sent it out to 3 of our top competitors. Will be doing a lot of research this evening and I firmly believe this is the new route I need to take.

    The reality is this buisness has been doing things wrong for such a long time, and since I came aboard a few things have changed, but I'm still just wasting time. Also the relationship I have with my boss and the relationship he has with all his employees is toxic. Its a friendship and not a business relationship at all. He talks to us like "friends" but in an extremely condesending way, joking about things, insulting us the majority of the time, and although he's a very entertaining guy, he's really just too rude and disrespectful to be working with. Honestly the first time he insulted me I should have just picked up all my **** and left. This guy thinks its all fun & games, I understand he's under a lot of stress too, but this isn't the way you run a f&*king business!

    You people are absolutely on the money. I need to find a better job with a boss who isn't a sociopath. I was very organized and motivated coming into this company but the stress has done nothing but drain and demotivate me. Time to move onto better things!! Thanks again for all the help.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Starting a second company you have to keep secret because of a competitor should have been a huge red flag. Updating the resume is a good step.

      If you really want to keep pitching while you test the free agent market, think about this...

      Selling prevention is really tough. The best prospect for a security system is someone who has just had a break-in, just like the best prospect for waterproofing is someone with a wet basement.

      On the other hand, selling money can be easier. Make a few phone calls to property/casualty insurance agencies, and ask if there is any kind of discount available for homes which have had the basement waterproofed. Say the service costs $500. If spending that $500 will save $100/yr on insurance...

      Same with the energy company. Most consumers have had enough offers to know that "free energy audit" is code for sending a salesman. Check with local utility companies and the DoE to see what rebates and tax credits might be available to make the break-even from energy savings sooner/lower.

      If you're there long enough, don't give up on direct mail. A postcard campaign to the right list could start the phone ringing. Hook up with a good list broker for the proper selects.

      Document what you do. Taking a strategic approach could help you get a better offer sooner.

      Good luck...
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    This is something i would ask Jay Abraham about. If it's anybody who would know the answer to this question, it would be him... lol... unfortunately, it'll probably cost you around $5,000 to ask him this.
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  • Profile picture of the author robie
    I guess the problem is your boos / leader.
    If you your boss /leader is bad, I mean really bad, forget about success.
    From your story above, your leader gives negative influence to the others. And that's not gonna work. It will fail from the start.
    Find or change your new leader maybe ?
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    Businesses you have to keep secret rarely work out well...unless you are a prostitute maybe. But even they openly market their services.

    You are in a tight spot. I guess one suggestion that comes to mind fairly quickly is to look to for potential cross-sell opportunities with other businesses.

    Think house leveling businesses. They might have existing customers who could use your companies services. maybe you could work out a deal to get leads and pay them a commission.
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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson

    Others have said what I'm about to say. But just wanted to comment on this because I have been in similar situations several times.

    Whether or not this is a problem is up to you. I don't know why you feel compelled to stay there, but that is your business and I'm not asking. That's none of my business.

    There is no problem, really, depending on your perspective. There would be no problem for me because I would leave. Maybe you need the money and cannot leave, right away. So it could be something like that.

    Your boss will not change anytime soon. Actually, he should be working for someone and not have people working for him.

    As long as you stay there it will be hell.

    It's generally much more difficult to sell prevention than a solution someone needs, like now. I'm not totally up on the housing market, but I think it's suppose to be in the toilet for years to come. How many new constructions of any kind are happening in your area?

    You have to decide what you're willing to put up with. If you feel you do not deserve better, then you will be there until everything collapses or things improve. But your boss will still be the same, etc...

    A few years ago I started at a new job. On the second day I walked out at 9 AM because of the guy 'managing' the place. Not a small business, maybe mid size. I saw enough between 8 and 9 AM on day 2 that I knew that guy was AFU.

    Long before that I decided I was not going to subject myself to managers who are AFU, no more.

    You make your decisions, lines in the sand, and stick to them. A thousand people can post in this thread but it's your call in the end.

    See ya...
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