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Sunday, February 17, 2008

A recent book I've been reading is "This Business Has Legs", sub-titled "How I Used Infomercial Marketing to Create the $100,000,000 Thighmaster Craze: An Entrepreneurial Adventure Story".

OK, I'll admit, I have pretty eclectic reading habits :-)

The book is a fascinating insight into the world of infomercials, written by Peter Bieler, the entrepreneur behind the Thighmaster Craze - well worth a read.

Anyway, Peter set out to create a "virtual corporation", outsourcing all aspects of his business from day one, including sales. As Peter writes:

"The nice thing about a virtual corporation is that you don't have to change. You don't have to transform yourself from a frontline manager to a guy that sits at the top of a huge pyramid of employees. The other advantage to a virtual structure is that you can grow rapidly... not only can you grow rapidly, you can shrink - painlessly - if need be"

Given that the infomercial world is driven by instant sales hits with a limited shelf-life, this certainly makes sense.

But, more than this, outsourcing the parts of your business that you don't do well (or don't enjoy!) makes perfect sense.

When we work with business owners they all have a common thread; they're passionate about their product or service, they are typically the creator type... but they all hate sales & marketing.

I'm not talking about meeting with potential customers; all our clients love that part! It's all the peices that run up to and after this single event.

Generating leads, building a pipeline of business, chasing and closing deals - it all takes times and unless you've worked in sales or business dveelopment for any length of time, the knock-backs and rejections that come with the territory can be punishing.

In way, in current Silicon Valley parlance, we "eat our own dog food" here.

We're a classic virtual corporation in every sense. We scale for each client gig with an associate base, bringing a team of telesales, field sales and business development professionals to deliver results. Over time the structure of the team changes to reflect the business stage of each client.

Plus, in a way, we have outsourced our content production. It's almost a reverse-outsourcing, if that term exists :-)

We are the sales engine, but without our clients "content" (ie: their products and services) then we cannot grow our business.

Which makes us an ideal partner for clients seeking to outsource their sales.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 8:22 am |  2 comments  | Links to this post  

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