Patient: Doctor, it hurts when I do this.

Doctor: So stop doing that.

Small business owner: How do I attract new customers in today’s economy?

Small business marketing consultant: Sell what people are buying.

While the doctor’s advice falls a bit short, the marketing consultant is on to something powerful, however simplistic it may strike you at first.

I sat with a small business owner just yesterday who is struggling.  They offer training classes on a variety of subjects.  As I listened to what they’re doing to “right the ship” I was impressed.  Very proactive.  Yet there was one thing that jumped out at me.  They continue to promote the classes that are not filling up.  Their job is to fill up classes.  Logical, right?  Logical during normal times.  But not now.

A long-standing truism in business is that training is one of the first things you throw overboard when things get tough.  When 9-11 happened those splashes you heard on 9-12 were my training clients.

My advice: add more of the classes that are filling up and promote them until they stop filling up; and don’t worry about the ones that aren’t. 

How does that advice translate to how you are approaching your marketing in this economy?