William D. Hughes GamePlan Books
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Mistakes

Trial and error is a great way to learn from your mistakes.  Sometimes however, you don’t have that luxury. Like put-you-out-of-business mistakes—not trivial ones like a poor logo design or bound-to-happen mistakes like ads that don’t pull.

Mistakes is an easy-to-read, tell-it-like-it-is book that will help you short-circuit the trial-and-error learning curve.  It is also succinct and does not make the mistake of saying something in two pages that could be said in two paragraphs.

One very popular, potentially fatal mistake is expecting your unknown, new product from your unknown company to start selling profitably in just a few months.  Or having everything in place—production,  product, customer service, website—everything except someone to sell it and/or no way for strangers to learn about you and your product.

Then there are mistakes that won’t put you out of business so quickly, but may only be delaying the inevitable. Mistakes like not paying close attention to what the competitors are doing. Or bringing products to market that are priced and positioned for no one in particular.

And then the kind of mistakes that sure get in the way of victory. Mistakes like a web site circa 1999, no search engine recognition, or ignoring the Internet’s social networking phenomena’s. Or not keeping your customer/prospect data base current and accurate.

Lastly, there are mistakes you can avoid with just common sense. Like not doing the arithmetic (income statements are not just for accountants), selling low without buying low, and seeking the perfect product/service while the competition feasts on customers who want something now.

This book covers all those kinds of mistakes and more

Action Plan

For years, I have been providing sales and marketing ‘advice and services’ for small and medium-size companies. Just about all pay me to do one thing—increase sales.

When I first started,  it would take me many days, more often weeks to come up with a sales and marketing plan. Plans would start by citing the company’s virtues and opportunities. Detailed charts, colorful graphs and gratuitous comments followed.  Leaving few stones unturned, I would address every thing from management training to focus groups to financial models.

Clients weren’t impressed. The plans were took too much time  to read, and worse yet, touched on too many non-revenue producing issues.  After a few awkward engagements, I concluded I had better change my approach or go get a real job.
So I looked over what I had been doing and realized I was wasting my time and the client’s money on ancillary issues. Nobody cared about nice-to-do programs and beautiful visuals.  What they really wanted to know is how to get the cash register ringing now.

So, I started focusing on only what mattered, made sense and promised to make money.  Not only did this accomplish the mission, it also enabled me to create plans in half the time it had taken previously.

Over the years, I added notes and ultimately created my own personal sales and marketing workbook.

That workbook (now called Action Plan) is the basis of this book. For inexperienced readers, I’ve added lots of explanations and instructions. I’ve also included quite a bit on the Internet and how it can make a major difference in your business results. Good luck and good selling.

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Copyright © 2010 William D. Hughes. All Rights Reserved.
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