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Edition 145 – Gimme Shelter

I love trawling the vault of my iPod and hitting repeat on some great, older tunes. One of my faves at the moment is the Rolling Stones classic, Gimme Shelter, first released the year after my birth.

There’s a real rawness to this song. It’s a magnificent blend of the early blues days of the band, combined with their continued foray into rock in the late 60’s. Mick’s voice is strong. Keith’s guitar playing is superb and Charlie is ever present on the drums. Gimme Shelter is the Stones’ interpretation of the turbulence of that period in history.

In the mid chorus, backing vocalist Merry Clayton gives a magnificent performance when she implores “it’s just a shot away”. So emotional is her performance, her voice breaks on the third repeat of the line.

In my opinion, she could well be singing this line to those family business owners that have got a little lazy on the marketing front of late. Whether it is a catch up phone call, booking a meeting, organising late afternoon drinks or a mid morning coffee, too many family business owners have forgotten that keeping in contact with your contacts is “just a shot away”.

The single biggest contributor to success that I’ve observed in 2018 amongst the family businesses that I work with is their consistency of keeping in touch with the clients – past, present and future. Conversely, those family businesses that haven’t been that great at keeping in touch with their clients, or getting their message out into the marketplace, are now struggling.

The family businesses that are doing well and looking forward to a buoyant 2019 are indulging in two to five touchpoints a week. A touchpoint, in my lexicon, is merely a means of making contact. Whether it is sending a newsletter (hello!), or making phone calls, part of being in business is all about spending the time cultivating the next opportunity.

Between two and five occasions each week to make an effort to keep in touch with people doesn’t seem a lot. However, whether it is busyness, laziness or boredom, there are plenty of family business owners that are simply not doing it. That’s a major concern in my opinion, as it is only when things slow down that owners and managers ask why. Except, that’s when it’s too late.

The best client that I have on the keeping in contact front is relentless at it. Business is good, profits are being generated and already, the early signs are that 2019 is going to be a boomer. However, this family business owner hasn’t just started to get interested in marketing himself and his business. He’s been doing it consistently, for a long time. Like the farmer who tills the soil and rotates his paddocks, this owner keeps at it all year around, whether he’s busy or not.

The other point to note is this. Consistency is not every week for a month, or every month for six months. My observations are that your market will only get interested in you if you are consistent over a period of two years or more. It takes that long for people to:

  1. Meet you and hear you the first time around.
  2. Start to listen to you.
  3. Get the opportunity to engage with you.
  4. Begin to trust you.
  5. Take a chance with you.

So, this week, I implore all owners and managers of family businesses to stop seeking shelter from the need to get out and market, and to take a shot at it!

This Week’s Tip

Too many people give up too easily on marketing when they don’t pick up an early win. What your future clients want is to trust you – which takes time.