Process – Profit

Series:

This is the fourth and final article in a four-part series on how Wiebe Industrial Services effectively generates business-to-business (B2B) sales leads for industrial companies.


Seeing the return on your investment in marketing is the fourth critical step in our proven four-point process for generating B2B sales leads for industrial companies. The four points are as follows:

  1. Assess = get the facts
  2. Plan = use the facts
  3. Build = leverage the facts
  4. Profit = benefit from the facts

Everything you’ve done prior to this, in terms of research-based planning and building, has readied you for the profit phase of your marketing program.

This phase is all about making you money rather than costing you money—which is the ultimate measure of any marketing program. It’s all about alignment, when who you are as a company truly aligns with what you do. Your clients clearly understand your identity and purpose. They have been won over by your story, and they trust you. Now you simply need to deliver value to them again and again and again.

Performance

Profit comes from a relentless pursuit of excellence.

In our day and age, the mystery is gone from marketing and sales. Marketing used to be like the iceberg with 15% showing and 85% below the surface, invisible. Now we can see everything. Through real-time metrics, we can know what happens. We know how colors drive certain decisions. We know how certain words help and certain words hinder.

We train your team to track everything. We teach them to watch, in real time, the leads that are being generated for your products, so that they learn what a quality lead looks like. They will be able to clearly see the relationship between quality leads and converted sales in a way that they can then accurately predict the company’s growth and progress.

The success of the profit phase depends on your ability to learn and adapt. You need to stay engaged with your clients, and you need to keep learning.

Let me give you an interesting example. In digital marketing, we use what is known as a “call to action” to trigger a viewer response. One that tested well was “Talk to an Expert.” The text of this simple call to action was placed into a button and, if the viewer clicked on it, they were directly connected via phone to a seller. We had been using it successfully for quite a while.

However, new research showed us that swapping out the word “Talk” with the word “Speak” in the exact same application had four times the higher engagement rate with viewers. Now understand, that change was then made in 25 different places on the website. Changing just one word had a 400% improvement in viewer engagement.

If you have a good product and aggressive telemetry, your profit margins have huge potential.

Sometimes, small changes make a big difference. We track those results. They mean something to us, because we were prepared, and we structured our planning in a way that almost guaranteed our success.

It costs something to set this up for a client, but it’s really not that expensive. If you have a good product and aggressive telemetry, your profit margins have huge potential.

When your team has a handle on real-time metrics, they are able to adapt their approach in ways that will keep your marketing program lean and efficient. We will train them to see which leads are generating the highest profit margins and which ones just aren’t working. This will enable them to know which products they should be taking off the offer sheet, and which products they should be pushing harder.

With our training, your team will be able to adapt and pivot quickly. If necessary, they could adjust your whole marketing program within 24 hours to capitalize on the most profitable opportunities. To nurture that kind of agility, Wiebe tracks daily with the teams that we are supporting. We believe that a well-trained team keeps learning and keeps driving the company’s business forward.

Wiebe is obsessed with performance. We help you repeat and learn, until you have an extremely strong marketing program. That’s our passion. And it’s all about generating revenue for your company—profit.

Integrity and Accountability

When it comes right down to it, your behaviour is your brand.

If a company drops $30,000 on a new website, they deserve to know right now how that website is going to pay for itself and more. We affirm that expectation and we understand the process. Our focus is on generating revenue for your company. We know what it takes to profit.

Industrial sales is all about building trust and delivering value.

Too often, we see companies that have departments within them that are not aligned with their overall business goals. Business development is going in one direction, marketing is going in another, and the sales team in yet another. What they need is a holistic view of revenue generation. We specialize in bringing that kind of alignment into a company’s vision, to make sure that your marketing plan is aligned with your corporate goals and objectives. The first line in any marketing plan should be, “In support of the overall strategic plan of the company…”

If your marketing is aligned with who you are and what you do, then you will see profit.

If there’s a disconnect between who you say you are and what you actually do in the marketplace, then that’s called corporate death. It might be a slow death, but you’re going to die because you can’t build integrity, trust, and value on that kind of foundatio

If your marketing is aligned with who you are and what you do, then you will see profit. If it isn’t, then what exactly are you paying for?

In order to have that kind of integrity, you need accountability. As Gerry Wiebe says, Accountability defines performance. And those who resist accountability are just afraid of their own performance.”

One of the companies that we’ve partnered with has been getting all-time record leads in 2020. That’s happening in the midst of a global pandemic! That’s a significant accomplishment. That’s integrity.

When we say that we can help you develop a business, and help you market your business, and even help you with your sales process, we do not presume do that without helping you create continuous alignment and continuous improvement.

For Wiebe Industrial, bringing unity and integrity to a company is our top priority, because we believe that’s when companies succeed and profit.

Hard Work

A lot of companies are frustrated with the performance of their marketing. There are so many unexpressed expectations and a lot of negativity surrounding marketing expenses.

Marketing should deliver on its promise of profit—and we understand what it takes. We understand what it takes to build trust with clients. We understand what it takes to provide exemplary service in the marketplace. And that’s what delivers profit. Because, ultimately, marketing is a value proposition. And your company succeeds when your clients perceive that value.

Marketing is like fishing. The website is your boat, but your boat doesn’t catch fish. The boat just gets you out there where the fish are.

Let’s say a company drops $20,000 on a great website. What should be expected? Will the company see a return on an investment like that?

Marketing is like fishing. The website is your boat, but your boat doesn’t catch fish. The boat just gets you out there where the fish are. It’s a powerful platform, but it doesn’t do the hard work of fishing for you. Some people just want to go out on the water in their boat, but that’s not fishing. In the same way, having a great website is not marketing. You still need to do the hard work of engaging your clients. But just a good boat puts you where you want to be, right in the midst of all those fish, a good website puts you into the marketplace and makes it easier for your clients to buy your products.

If you extend the metaphor further, your outbound marketing tools, such as email and social media, are like your fishing gear. They’re your rods, reels, lines, and lures. They are the tools that help you make contact with your clients. But again, you still have to do the hard work of fishing, such as baiting, casting, and reeling them in.

At Wiebe, we specialize in building sales systems and seller confidence to ensure that you actually bring the fish into the boat, i.e., sell your product and profit your company.

We help analyze your marketing strategies in the same way that any company analyzes their capital investments. So, let’s say an employee says to their employer, “Hey, we need $50,000 to buy this trailer.” The employer says, “Prove it.” He has the right to know if that trailer is going to earn the company back that $50,000. Will the purchase be worth it?

Profit doesn’t come without forthright planning, accountability, attention to detail, and tenacity. There’s always an element of risk, but it’s done in partnership with you, our client. Together we build a system that delivers profit in the way you have envisioned.

When it comes to the pursuit of excellence in performance, we are relentless.

Profit is never haphazard. We figure it out. We lean in, we repeat, we learn, and we adapt. And eventually we just run out of things that need to be fixed. The result is an extremely strong program, which will get you two or three years of profit. Then, if you’re smart, you’ll do it all over again, because a different perspective will get you enhanced results.

When it comes to the pursuit of excellence in performance, we are relentless.

Time to Profit?

If you’re ready to embrace our proven four-point process for generating B2B sales leads for industrial companies, then give us a call today at 604-556-6032.

Let us become your revenue-generation agency.

Wiebe Industrial Services.

Marketing that gives a damn.

Process – Build

Series:

This is the third article in a four-part series on how Wiebe Industrial Services effectively generates business-to-business (B2B) sales leads for industrial companies.


Building your marketing assets is the third critical step in our proven four-point process for generating B2B sales leads for industrial companies. The four points are as follows:

  1. Assess = get the facts
  2. Plan = use the facts
  3. Build = leverage the facts
  4. Run = profit from the facts

Once you’ve gotten the facts through an initial assessment and we’ve helped you craft a kick-butt marketing plan based on research, it’s time to build.

This phase is all about bringing your company into alignment: putting the right people in the right roles using the right tools.

This is when you start to see the fruit of the effort you’ve put into the foundation of assessment (getting the facts) and planning (using the facts). It’s time to leverage the facts by building your key marketing assets effectively and wisely.

Meet Sam

To explain the value of building the right way, I want to introduce you to Sam. He’s a fine young man who owns a mid-size industrial company. He’s got a great product but lousy marketing. He wants to take his business to the next level, so Sam hires a marketing agency to help.

The problem, however, is that Sam doesn’t understand what marketing is, and neither does the agency he just hired. So, after a lengthy (and expensive) interview with Sam, the agency comes to him with a proposal. They tell him, “Sam, what you need is a big shiny sports car. This car looks beautiful and it’s going to do all these really cool things for you. And it’ll only cost you $100,000, which is a really good deal for a big shiny sports car.”

Sam buys the car, and it looks fabulous. The agency is right, in terms of how it makes him feel. It looks amazing parked outside of his office. People are really impressed. Until they start asking questions like, “How fast does it go?”

“I don’t know,” Sam says. “It didn’t come with an engine.”

What? That’s right, Sam got duped into spending $100,000 on his ego, instead of buying something that would actually help him do the hard work of growing his business and making money.

In reality, Sam probably needed a pickup truck with four-wheel drive and 450 horsepower to do some heavy towing. It would have cost him a quarter of what the sports car cost and been ten times more useful. The sports car massaged his self-image for a season, but the pickup would have been a workhorse that served his business for years to come. What’s the better investment for Sam?

That’s the difference between marketing that creates fluff and marketing that actually creates business. At Wiebe, we think marketing should be a profit center.  We help companies build in a way that makes sense of making money. We pride ourselves in being not just a marketing agency but a revenue-generation agency.

Invest in People

We know you sell some amazing heavy-duty products and services, but your people are still your greatest asset.

If you want to invest in sales and marketing, then invest in the people on your sales and marketing team. Their experience as employees is as connected as anything to the success of your company. Do they love their jobs? Are they well qualified to deliver on what your company promises to deliver on?

Every person that works in sales and marketing is an extension of the value of the company. Each one has to be an extension of the culture of the company. Each one has to be an extension of the word of the owner of that company. That level of trust and integrity only comes through investing in your people. That’s the essence of building.

Remember, people buy from people, even if they’re buying a machine. That means that your machines are nothing without the people on your sales team.

When Wiebe works with a company, we require access to your people, because we see them as the experts. We may be experts on the methods of marketing and sales, but your people are the experts on your company’s products and services. They’re the experts on how to communicate with your clients. They’re the experts on the language that works with your customers.

A company’s products and services are never more valuable than the people who sell them.

A large engineering company recently approached us and told us that they were having difficultly attracting the right kind of engineers to work for them. Without a solution that company could be in some serious trouble. We did our assessment and then told them that they would need to make some pretty big changes internally or they wouldn’t survive, let alone prosper. We told them if they weren’t ready to start creating a program that clearly valued people, they wouldn’t be around for long. We discovered and reported on some hard truths, and brought a meaningful set of solutions. The result was that we were awarded a major contract to help that company grow and prosper.

Invest in Training

One of the most effective ways to invest in your people is by providing training. Nothing communicates value to employees more than tailored training. If you want to keep your best people, invest in training them.

Wiebe is a huge advocate of training. As a marketing agency, one of our most unique features is our focus on training. We come alongside your team in a way that makes their personal development a top priority.


When companies don’t offer training for their sales and marketing teams, they’re taking two big risks: keeping their employees and maximizing their profits. Employee turnover destabilizes your business. Training retains your people because it adds value to their work. It creates engaged employees. But there’s more—when your people are engaged, they perform better and they sell more. Training is ridiculously profitable. The return on investment is huge.

Nothing strengthens your sales and marketing like good training.

Now, that assumes that you have the right people in the right roles. Training the wrong person is just like flushing money down the toilet. There are ways to figure out who fits best where on a sales and marketing team. You need to make that commitment to your people, to ensure that each one of your team members is working in the role that best suits their skills and personality.

Nothing strengthens your sales and marketing like good training. Wiebe is passionate about coming alongside your sales team and helping them become better at reading leads and generating sales.

People leave companies all of the time for just a few reasons, and one of those reasons is that they didn’t have an opportunity for training. Don’t be that company that’s easy to leave. Invest in training.

Invest in Tools

Your toolbox is important. What do you have in there? Do you know how to use your tools?

I heard a story recently from Volkswagen that illustrates the importance of a well-equipped and well-ordered toolbox.

At VW, they do peer hiring. The HR people find the applicants, and then they put them into a work group in the factory, and that group has final say over who gets hired. So each applicant works for a week or so, and then the group makes their decision on whether to hire him or not.

So HR brings a young man into the factory and assigns him to a group. He’s very qualified, looks very professional, and seems like a good fit. But they don’t hire him. Why not? He was fully certified. He showed up on time. He worked all day. He did everything he was asked. What’s the problem?

Well, he didn’t put his tools away professionally, the group said. The outside of his toolbox was clean, but the inside was a mess. If that’s how he treats his tools, what does that say? If he doesn’t take care of his own things, why should we let him take care of the company’s assets?

Is your toolbox ready to go when you need it?

Your marketing toolbox matters. You’ve got to take care of what’s in there. You can’t be sloppy with your tools. You’ve got to be careful and diligent with what you are using on a daily or even hourly basis. Is your toolbox ready to go when you need it?

With Wiebe, our toolbox becomes your toolbox. We have a small team of experts that maintain an extensive marketing toolbox. We know the tools and we know how to use them. We want your sales team to be as confident with their toolbox as your shop workers are with theirs.

So, what are the tools? They’re really not that complicated or fancy. Just like in the shop, basic hammers and pliers go a long way, so do writers and graphic designers in marketing and sales.

Wiebe has a team of specialists who can deliver you quality content so that your sales team is ready to do what they do best. We have social media experts, skilled writers, gifted graphic designers, and others who are able to deliver on a variety of specialized technical tasks.

You can be assured that we keep our tools sharp and up-to-date, and we keep our toolbox well equipped and well ordered. 

Less Talk, More Listening

As competent as we are with tools, we don’t want to make the fatal error when it comes to over-emphasizing the tools themselves. We realize that there’s a lot of talk out there in the marketing world about the tools—flashy, shiny tools that are all the rage, whether it’s social media, video, or the next new thing.

At Wiebe, we value the tools and what they do for us, but we also know that there will be ten more tools tomorrow that promise ten more outcomes. In reality, we don’t focus on the tools, because we’re actually thinking beyond the tools.

When we’re helping you build your marketing assets, we focus first on your needs, and then we take up the tools that will best serve your needs. You can be confident in our skillful use of the tools, but the skill we really aim to excel at is understanding your needs.

A lot of marketing today is hype. We don’t hype what we do; we focus more on why we do it. We want to build something with you, something that will work for you. That’s why we don’t start with the shiny tools; we start with listening to you, understanding your real and long-term needs. Then we find a way to deliver exactly what you need, repeatedly and over a long period of time.

Even though we have the very best tools at our disposal, we see ourselves primarily as tool users. We respect the tools, but not more than we respect you. We know which tools work well in certain environments, but we’re not emotionally attached to one tool above another. Those tools are meant to serve you, so we want to make sure that they fit your specific needs.

Shiny and flashy will come and go, but competence and good listening will remain.

We’ll do what’s required, and then some. We’ll get the job done, not according to our needs, but according to yours.

Time to Build?

Wiebe wants to help you build a sales and marketing machine that delivers the results your company deserves. We want your marketing to be like a sniper bullet that hits the target with accuracy and impact, not like buckshot being recklessly unloaded into the dark.

Are you ready to bring your company into alignment, so that the right people are in the right roles and using the right tools?

If you’re ready to take the next step in our proven four-point process for generating B2B sales leads, then give us a call today at 604-556-6032.

Wiebe Industrial Services.

Marketing that builds for success.

Process – Plan

Series:

This is the second article in a four-part series on how Wiebe Industrial Services effectively generates business-to-business (B2B) sales leads for industrial companies.


After a thorough marketing assessment, it’s time to plan.

Once you’ve figured out the answers to those critical questions about the identity and purpose of your business, it’s much easier to take the next step toward success by making a plan. If the assessment was comprehensive, the planning will be straightforward.

Remember, you need to take this one step at a time if you want your industrial company to experience the ultimate pay-off from our proven four-point process for generating B2B sales leads. As a reminder, the four points are as follows:

  1. Assess = get the facts
  2. Plan = use the facts
  3. Build = leverage the facts
  4. Profit = benefit from the facts

Being Prepared

Planning is the most powerful action tool in the world. Nothing will give your business more meaning and direction than effective planning.

So, do you have a real plan? Are you really prepared?

We relied on the hiking metaphor when we introduced the first step of assessing your business, and we’ll build on it for our explanation of planning.

You don’t go for a hike without being prepared. So, based on careful research about what specific hike you’re going to tackle, you compile a list of things that you’ll need to bring along. You need the right footwear, the right clothes, and the right supplies. It’s really not hard to plan if you’ve done your homework.

If you do the research, the plan becomes apparent.

It’s the same in business—your planning is based solidly on your research. You’ve already done the hard work, now you need to act on what you know. As we said earlier, your goals and objectives emerge from your research. Marketing is more process driven than a lot of people think. If you do the research, the plan becomes apparent.

Who would go hiking without a plan? But the reality is, the trail to success is littered with dead businesses who didn’t plan well, or who just ignored the facts from their research, thinking that they didn’t apply to them.

Planning to Win

If you’re not planning to win, then why plan at all? As Steven Covey says, “You have to begin with the end in mind.” It starts with a clear vision of where you want to go.

But it doesn’t stop there. It’s not just about having a goal; it’s about having clear and measurable objectives. That’s why we usually talk about two types of planning: strategic and tactical. Strategic planning is directional. It’s about seeing the big picture and about keeping the end in mind. Tactical planning, then, is about how you’re going to get there. It’s the step-by-step specifics. It’s about breaking the plan down into bite-sized chunks.

  • Question: How do you eat an elephant?
  • Answer: One bite at a time.

Tactical planning gives you the flexibility to respond to specific challenges and to solve problems that arise along the way. It’s not just about doing something for the sake of doing it. It’s about doing it with purpose.

Tactical planning is also responsive. You’re dealing with the emerging reality right in front of you and you’re working with it, adjusting to what’s there and planning to move forward.

Wiebe helps you formulate both strategic and step-by-step tactical plans that give you meaningful, directed purpose.

You plan to win by anticipating hurdles. Once you have a comprehensive understanding of your product or service, then you need to ask questions like, “Who needs that product or service? How should I talk to them? What objections will they raise?”

In football, the defense plans to keep the offense from moving forward. So they have to be ready for how the offense will try to advance. The defenders do everything they can to stop the offense. They’ve got to figure out how to react to every attempt at advance. It’s about complete coverage.

You need to know your market.

Business people need the same tenacity in the marketplace, or they simply miss opportunities. If someone says to you, “Sorry, I just don’t see the value in your product,” do you have a quick and meaningful comeback? Are you able to anticipate a variety of questions and objections from potential clients? That’s a part of planning.

You need to know your market. You need to speak their language, to understand how they communicate. You need to know how to listen.

Overcoming Obstacles

You need to plan for ugly realities. You need to plan to overcome obstacles. And if they don’t happen, you have a surplus in time, resources, and money to invest in the next level. But you were ready for the challenge. You were prepared.

Today, everything can be measured, so you can know instantly what’s working and what’s not. A plan is always flexible, and real-time metrics allow you to adapt quickly.

Don’t be afraid to revisit the plan and revise it. With careful monitoring, you don’t have to wait for that monthly review. That kind of waiting is unnecessary. You have the marketing data, the selling data, and the data on your cost of operations, so why are you waiting to make a correction? Don’t waste time. If the results are bad, stop the bleeding immediately. If the results are good, don’t miss the opportunity.

When you plan well, you understand the need for change, because you’re relying on thorough market research. You know what it’s saying. You know when you need to make a major pivot decision. If the research starts to tell you that you’re going to be the only person on that trail, then listen and make sure you capture that opportunity. But if you have no planning and no telemetry, you don’t see that. If you do, you put yourself in control and you’re able to make those informed decisions that prepare you for the future.

You’ve probably heard the old marketing joke: “I spend $1000 on marketing and half of it works, but I don’t know which half.”

Good joke, but it doesn’t have to be true for you. Because today, you can know what’s working. We have the tools to figure out very quickly what’s working and what’s not.

In fact, Wiebe wants you to be so confident about our marketing services that you’re saying things like, “We’re only spending $500 on marketing, but we’re getting the impact of $1000.”

If you feel like you’ve been wasting money on marketing, then we’d like to propose an alternative. Instead of spending more on marketing, Wiebe wants you to get focused and spend less. Do you believe that? If your plan is well executed, your marketing costs should actually go down, and keep going down over time.

That’s what good planning does for a company. As your marketing becomes more focused and efficient, it starts going to work for you.

Marketing is 75% metrics and 25% creativity. Decisions should be based on empirical data, not on feelings. It’s actually not that different from good manufacturing. When a company manufactures something, they have to be very specific: measure three times and cut once. It takes planning, testing, and control. The same rules apply to marketing. It’s also based on a detailed process, and the outcomes should be clear.

If your marketing is not delivering good results, then it simply isn’t working. At Wiebe, our mandate is to generate results, so if that’s not happening, then we’ve failed. If your marketing is not making the phone ring, it’s not worth the money you’re spending on it. Because once the phone rings, you’re 75% there.

Measure Everything

Today, we all have the ability to access our marketing and sales metrics in real time.

That means that we’re able to look at our business in reality, including the current financials. If we are executing on the tactical delivery of our plan right now, then we will also be able to know what that delivery is teaching us about what we can expect moving forward.

The days are gone of not knowing how your business is performing. It used to take thirty to sixty days for a clear picture of where you were at. Now, if you want to know, you can know now.

At Wiebe, we facilitate that kind of marketing telemetry. We know 24 hours a day how your business is performing. With our top clients, we no longer submit monthly reports, because we’re in constant communication about what’s happening via real-time dashboards. We know right now if the plan is working.

We can watch, in real-time, the leads that are being generated. We can learn what a quality lead looks like. If we know that one lead out of every three becomes a converted sale and we know how many leads you’re getting every day, we already know what your sales are likely to be for tomorrow and so on. With those kinds of metrics, who needs a past-tense monthly report?

With our top clients, we have real-time lead tracking in place and we have empowered sellers that get those leads without a filter and without delay. They get actual toll-free calls streamlined directly to them, not through a switchboard. Those empowered sellers are having real conversations with real people with real needs. And those sellers have the ability to meet those needs right there and then.

Knowing is no longer an obstacle. You can know right now what’s happening. The data just keeps rolling in, lead after lead after lead. It’s a lead factory.

Every click online tells us something. As we keep learning, we can keep driving the business forward. We stay flexible and learn to pivot quickly.

Real-time metrics also allows for flexibility, because we know which leads are generating the highest profit margins and which ones just aren’t working. We know which products we should be taking off the offer sheet, and which products we should be pushing harder. If necessary, we could change the whole marketing program of a company within 24 hours.

Every click online tells us something. As we keep learning, we can keep driving the business forward. We stay flexible and learn to pivot quickly.

Measuring everything also means that we believe in marketing that is accountable. We know every dollar that was spent on marketing, where it was spent, why it was spent, and what was the expected return. It’s a marketing process that builds trust.

Planning for Success

When your company has achieved success, the price of your products rarely becomes an issue for your clients. Those clients already have complete confidence in the quality and value of your products. Your company has essentially become the best option.

What does it take to become that company?

If you’re serious about quality, you have to be satisfied with fewer customers initially. But those relationships will be meaningful, and they will keep coming back. As your business grows, the calls become simpler and simpler. They sound like this: “I need X. Send me one as soon as possible. Thanks. Bye.”

When you get calls like that, you have that customer’s complete trust. Those are the customers that are writing testimonials for your company.

Success is about being ready for anything. If your plan isn’t delivering, adjust. You’ve learned to be flexible and agile. When things get difficult, you’re prepared. When things go well, you’re prepared. You’re ready for the good days and for the bad days.

Imagine, on your drive home tomorrow, you approach a familiar intersection and you see a terrible accident. Four cars are in a mangled mess. It’s really bad. But you can already hear the sirens and, within thirty seconds, the ambulance arrives. You feel a sense of relief. But you can hardly believe what happens next. The paramedics jump out of the ambulance and start dealing with the crowd of people that’s gathered to watch, saying, “Stand back, please. Nothing to see here.” Meanwhile, people are dying. Something’s wrong, right? That’s a ridiculous response from skilled emergency personnel.

Instead, you expect those paramedics to dive into the chaos and do exactly what their training has prepared them to do. You totally expect them to turn their backs on the watching crowd and focus their attention and expertise on the injured. That’s what they do—they save lives.

In business, that first scenario happens all the time—companies are not prepared for the opportunities at hand. They haven’t planned well, so they’re wasting their time on the wrong tasks. They have dreams about success, but they don’t own their own reality. They see themselves as victims and they’re blaming someone else for their failure. They’re not willing to do the hard work. They’re not ready for success.

We see other companies that are so well prepared. Their plan says, “Strive for the best, but prepare for the worst.” They know exactly what happens when things go wrong, which planned-response envelope to open, which person does this, which one does that. Everyone has a role. Everyone knows what the plan says.

This kind of approach requires consistency over a long period of time. You have to invest wisely and stick with the plan. Winning doesn’t come in giant lumps. It comes in layers and layers of tenacity.

Time to Plan?

We want to work with companies that want to plan well. If that doesn’t sound like you, then move on and find a marketing agency that will massage your ego and give you a shiny brochure. But if you want to face the facts and build a business based on reality, then Wiebe might be the revenue-generation agency for you.

If you’re ready to invest in planning, and planning to win, then give us a call today at 604-556-6032.  

Wiebe Industrial Services. Tenacious marketing.

Process – Assess

Series Intro:

This is the first article in a four-part series on how Wiebe Industrial Services effectively generates business-to-business (B2B) sales leads for industrial companies.


Who Are You… Really?

Assessment is the first critical step in our proven four-point process for generating B2B sales leads for industrial companies. The four points are as follows:

  1. Assess = get the facts
  2. Plan = use the facts
  3. Build = leverage the facts
  4. Run = profit from the facts

Assessment means getting in touch with your reality and the reality of your competition. It’s based on brutal honesty and thorough research. In the assessment process, you grapple with four simple questions regarding your business:

  1. Why are you in this business?
  2. What do you do?
  3. How do you do it better than anyone else?
  4. Who else is doing it well?

The biggest problem for industrial companies is that they don’t know where they’re at. They need a reality check—some way to figure out who they are, where they want to go, and how they can be better than their competitors.

You have to be honest. It’s better to start with nothing than to think you have something that you don’t really have. You have to get rid of the self-deception. What does your company do and who else is doing it? Who is your competition and what are they succeeding at?

We do thorough marketing assessments. We conduct honest marketing evaluations. We will help you understand your company’s position in the marketplace better than you’ve ever imagined.

If you don’t have a clear idea about where you’re at as a business, it’s pretty much impossible to get where you want to go.

At the end of the assessment process, you will know who you are and what you do best. You will also understand more clearly who your competition is and what it will take not only to compete well, but to win. 

If you don’t have a clear idea about where you’re at as a business, it’s pretty much impossible to get where you want to go. You need to understand where you’re starting, and you only get that understanding through assessment.

I’m talking about the need for a painful, totally realistic snapshot of where your business is. At the front end of the marketing process, or the front end of the business process, we have to start with a transparent self-awareness, a clear view of what reality is.

More Than a Shiny Brochure

Some businesses might say to a marketing agency, “We just want you to give us a shiny brochure, or get us on social media.” But I’m saying that if I’m going to work with a business, then we need to start at the beginning with an accurate assessment. If they aren’t willing to do that, then that brochure or that exposure on social media is not going to be worth anything.

I have sat in meetings where people have talked about their current reality with no facts, no figures, and no factual customer insight. They have even discounted the critical thoughts coming from their own employees, simply because it didn’t make them feel good.

Well, guess what? Maybe it isn’t as good as you think it is. But maybe it’s even better than you think it is. The point is you only think it is. You don’t know it is. You need to know, because in business, you can’t take a dream to the bank.

Reality-Based Research

Your assessment doesn’t have to be a grand 300-500-page document, but it does have to be real. One of the best approaches is to start with nothing, because you don’t have all of the prior preconceptions and prejudices and false thinking of the past. But in truth, that’s never the case. It’s very rare that you get to start up from nothing. In reality, most people think they have a good idea and they want to know how to take it to market.

They think it’s easy. It’s not. They think it’s free. It’s not. They don’t even know how to test if their idea is worth doing. And if they can’t do that test, why even try?

In other words, you have to get rid of the self-deception. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen people launch a business into a highly competitive field and they have no clue about how strong the competition is or whether or not they have giant gaping holes in their strategy.

If the market is looking for a B, why are you selling an A? If all of your competitors are selling shiny colors of A, now you’re just in a giant fight when, in fact, nobody even wants A anymore. They want B. Anyone could show up with a crappy B and sell a million of them, because people don’t know a good B from a bad B. You need to understand the market.

The Cost of Failure

What’s worse is people just start firing off in any old direction saying, “Well, let’s try this and let’s try that,” or even worse, “let’s just do what everyone else is doing.” In the end, they won’t accept a research budget, but they’ll spend ten times the research budget on failure.

An old friend of mine was talking with his kids one day. One of the kids said, “I’m paying top dollar to go to college and all they give me is grief. It’s so expensive from a money, time and focus point of view.” And my friend looked at them and said, “If you think education is expensive, try failure.”

Assessment will give you the opportunity to look coldly at something and say, “I understand this now and I’m turning off the waste.” Because you will never ever spend a better dollar than when you look at something in the cold light of dawn and you turn it off. It’s hard, but it’s the right thing to do.

Assessment is essential. From the beginning, there’s nothing more important than honest evaluation.

However, it’s completely different when you can look at it honestly and say, “I see the market and I see my ability to perform.” Those two access points give you incredibly powerful knowledge, in terms of how to act going forward, not only toward the goal you want, but toward the path you need to take to succeed.

Assessment is essential. From the beginning, there’s nothing more important than honest evaluation.

In our business at Wiebe Industrial, we do an exhaustive twenty-point analysis. We do an impartial and detailed analysis of your company’s brand and marketing position, highlighting the industrial benchmark for your sector and then at least three of your top competitors. This information is not readily available to anyone, but we are able to utilize powerful data systems that allow us to look deep into the marketplace. We pull the relevant data, analyze it, and then we leverage it into your new marketing programs.

Some people tell us, “I have a great website.” So we look it up and find out that Google ranks their site as garbage. There’s not much hope for that business. The empirical data gives proof, but no matter what they do, they’re never going to the top, because they can’t get past acting on their feelings instead of facts. It doesn’t matter how much gold they put in their garbage, it’s still worthless. That’s really the truth.

Value That Can Be Measured

When we’ve completed our assessment, we actually have over a hundred points of empirical, three-dimensional data to look at. When we look at it, we find the strengths and weaknesses. If someone is getting into a marketplace and there are no weaknesses in their primary competitors and all of them are functioning well, then they’d better be taking some really serious thought about whether or not they want to get into that mix.

However, if you look into that marketplace and you can see that four of your five competitors are sub-standard operators and have no innovation in their messaging or how they deliver it through their marketing, then you’ve got an opportunity in that market. But how do you know that without doing the research?

So many companies question the need for research. Yet the companies that have done it have accelerated their business in phenomenal ways. One of my major clients has grown their business from $400,000 per month to $1,000,000 per month in just five years. Now, in preparation for more growth, they’re developing their margins and ensuring the quality of their products and services.

We developed strategic and marketing plans for that company based on realities that are both executable and measurable. They have a diversified range of products and services, and everything they offer has its own tracking channel, in terms of facts and figures. That company is doing $12 million a year, but it’s feared by companies twenty times their size.

If you have a five-year plan, then you’d better be doing this type of assessment exercise at the beginning and again halfway through just to make sure that the whole market hasn’t moved on you in some crazy way.

Assessment costs something upfront. But it doesn’t cost nearly as much as failure.

Willing to Change = Ready for Success

Unfortunately, a lot of it has to do with ego. So many managers and owners don’t want to be assessed. They say, “Who are you to tell me? How could you possibly know my business?” They think they’re unique; they’re special, that their reality is unlike any other reality. But I have yet to hear more than about four stories in forty years. Most people’s problems are the same, because the marketplace governs the problems.

If people are too proud and won’t listen, then that’s the path they’re on. I can’t help them. In truth, no one can, because they’re not willing to be helped; they’re not willing to learn or change based on what they have in front of them.

However, if you want help and you’re willing to change, and willing to let go of your ego, then the growth potential is limitless.

We look into the marketplace and see ten businesses, and nine are happy with where they’re at. They don’t want to change. They don’t feel the need to grow. They’re just maintaining. The saying is true, “Good is the enemy of the great.”

However, there’s one company out there that’s hungry. They want change. They want to grow. They want to be better. And they’re willing to do what it takes to lift their business to the next level. That’s the company we want to work with. That’s the company that is forcing two or three of their competitors to take a hard look at themselves, because they see what success looks like.

So, if you’re the company that stopped at good, then just make yourself shiny brochure, tune up your website and just look good. You can probably hire a kid in Grade 10 to do that for you. A cool $300 can buy you a great website, and you’ll get your money’s worth. Pay a little more for a new logo and some flashy business cards, and now you’re feeling really good about yourself.

But we want to help that one hungry company take their business to the next level. We want to help them ask the hard questions and together do an honest assessment of their business. Because we know, if they’re willing to do that, then they’re ready for the work that success requires.

Assessment is the first critical step. It’s the essential foundation for the next step: Planning.

Preparation

To explain our process, we keep coming back to the metaphor of hiking. If you want to go on a hike, you have to be prepared. That’s what we learned in Boy Scouts, right? Somehow, we tend to forget those things we learned as little kids. So, what do you need for your hike? Have you got the right footwear and the right clothing? Have you got enough food and water? Is this a day hike or an overnighter? What if there’s a problem along the way, do you have the right emergency supplies? These are not unrealistic questions.

Of course, the big question from the beginning is: Where are you going? You have no idea how to plan for a hiking trip if you don’t know where you’re going. You can’t prepare anything until you’ve done some research about where you’re going and what it will require. That research is critical.

If you do the research, you’ll know exactly what you need to succeed.

So, before you go hiking, you do the research and you figure out that you need to pack warmer clothing, a good tent and something better than running shoes. Because you’ve done the hard work beforehand, you know exactly how to prepare.

It’s no different in business. If you do the research, you’ll know exactly what you need to succeed. But it starts with a proper assessment.

That takes work, but it’s worth it. Once you’ve done the assessment, the planning phase makes sense, as your goals and objectives emerge from your research. 

I talk to so many business people who tell me that they have a vision of where they want to go. And I say, “Great, tell me how you’re going to get there.”

“I don’t know,” they tell me, “I just have a vision.”

That’s not a vision; that’s a dream. The difference between a vision and a dream is planning. And you can’t get to the planning phase without assessing where you are and where you want to go.

Time to Assess?

If you’re ready to take the first critical step in our proven four-point process for generating B2B sales leads for industrial companies, then give us a call today at 604-556-6032.

Let us help you get in touch with your reality.

Wiebe Industrial Services.

Marketing that gives a damn.