This week’s Idea: Huh? Democrat Obama praises a Republican company?

with Neil Godin

Minnesota Republicans were blown away when President Obama went out of his way to salute a Minnesota company (and long time Republican financial supporter) for not laying off any of its 4300 workers during the disastrous Great Recession that is (just about) at an end.

Marvin  4

Obama said that Marvin Windows and Doors, based in Warroad, Minnesota, “give me hope,” because the company’s owners “understand that their biggest asset is the community and the workers who helped build the business.” (2,000 of their employees live in Warroad). He mentioned Marvin in a rousing speech to the Democratic National Committee – a thoroughly partisan venue – and has mentioned the company several times before. Why is this noteworthy? Because it demonstrates, dramatically, that a business that bucks the trend will not only survive and thrive – in any economy – but will also enjoy a lot of recognition and the media coverage it attracts – even from someone on the opposite end of the political spectrum. Obama added, “This family business in Warroad, Minnesota, didn’t lay off a single one of their 4,000 employees during this recession, even when their competitors shut down dozens of plants…” No matter what your politics, imagine what this accolade does for the Marvin brand!

Your call to action 

While achieving zero layoffs, in a horrible economy, is truly exceptional, Marvin is only one of thousands and thousands of companies that not only survived the recession, but in many cases thrived. Think about it. If an industry (or entire economy) is down 50%, that means that many companies have to be “above” the average line, not below – otherwise the average would slump even lower. The key to success in a soft economy is simply this: Make sure that when they’re cutting averages you’re “above” the line – holding the average up – instead of tumbling down to where your lowly competitors live (if they survive at all). And how do you do that? You double and triple the amount of energy and time you spend on marketing and sales. Why does that work? Because those who haven’t figured this out actually cut back on marketing and sales when recession hits – believing the bad news and hunkering down – hoping things get better, and hoping the phone starts to ring again, soon. (“Good luck.”)

You’re smarter than that. You know that even if an industry – or an entire economy – was down 50%, this means that fully 50% are still buying. While others hold back, you get out there, aggressively, and simply take market share from those who aren’t going after it. Do this well enough and – like Marvin Windows and Doors – your sales will hold at close to pre-recession levels, while others drop. That’s how it’s done. How do I know? Because I specialize in working with companies in trouble (during good times and bad) and we ‘routinely’ double or triple sales in a matter of months – simply by doubling or tripling their marketing and sales activity – usually with no-cost or very low cost strategies – simply because they have no money. (I’m writing a Kindle book right now on the twelve key strategies we use in these turnaround situations. Watch for a release date here).

Over to you. If you’re worried or confused about the sluggish economy, I suggest you forget The Big Economy, and instead concentrate on The Only Economy you have any chance of controlling – the economy of your own business. If you need or want to double your sales, double your sales and marketing activity. Start today. You will ramp up your sales – for certain – and, hey, you could even get a shout out from the prez.

See you next week.


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