Marketplace Realities – Is there a limit to how high you can climb?

Ropeandclouds [Q: When has an ad guy ever told a business owner that he’s grown as big as he’s ever going to grow?  A: When he’s the Wizard of Ads. -Dave]

By Roy H. Williams

Last week a client achieved 42 percent of his market potential. Never before had I seen a business break the 40 percent barrier. It was kind of like seeing someone run a four-minute mile. I knew it was possible in theory, but I never thought I’d actually see it.

Ben had come to Austin for his annual marketing retreat. After the usual pleasantries, he said, "Traffic is flat, sales are flat, and I’m not happy."

"Ben, you’ve done everything that can be done. You’ve trained your staff, created a tantalizing compensation structure for them, advertised relentlessly, added every conceivable product line that might increase your attractiveness to your customer, refined your purchasing methods so that your prices are visibly better, built a fabulous new store for the comfort of your customers, and through it all, not one of your competitors has awakened."

"Are you saying that 3 and a half million is all that can be done in my town?" he bristled.

Looking him calmly in the eyes, I carefully enunciated a single word: "Evidently."


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