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Measure Twice – Cut Once: How a Carpenter taught me successful marketing!
I learned a lesson about successful marketing while I was working my way through college. Although I didn’t realize the application of the knowledge until later, this lesson has stuck with me.
One summer, while going to college, I worked for a company that made kitchen cabinets. My job was to cut the front frame where the cabinet doors attached. On my first day of work I asked the Head Carpenter, what was the most important thing about the job, besides not cutting my fingers off? He said to always remember to “measure twice – cut once”. As we became friends he jokingly reminded me for most of the summer; “measure twice, cut once”, it almost became my nickname. To this day, when I drag out a piece of wood to cut for a home repair project, I still laughingly say “measure twice – cut once.”
Fast forward to today. I have since realized that I owe much of my success in the world of sales and marketing to that same rule of measuring, not measuring wood in this case, but my sales and marketing activities. As a salesperson we face an ever growing list of sales and marketing activities that we can spend our time and money on; many of these tools more powerful than we could ever have imagined. The likes of Facebook, Email, Twitter, LinkedIn, the Web and who knows what’s next are constantly pulling us to choose them to be the next marketing miracle.
You might say that we’ve reached a point of too many choices and not enough time. But too many choices is exactly the point why measuring is an absolute must. It’s easy to just grab on to the latest-greatest marketing thing; especially if everybody else is doing it or it’s getting the latest press. So pick the latest-greatest, choose the easiest, pick the cheapest; I don’t care. What I do care about is that you measure twice and cut what doesn’t work.