Is Good Ever Better Than Perfect?


“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – George S. Patton

I have been thinking and talking a lot lately about how to build marketing plans.

So let me share a little secret with you all: The perfect marketing plan does NOT exist!

Let me give you a couple of examples to illustrate my point and answer this post’s title question:

Example 1:  A particular insurance agent (I have talked to several this week who fit this description) wants to get in front of prospects. First, she needs to build a website. Before she builds her website, she needs a good website address (URL) and it needs to be tied to her firm name. But, she’s just not sure what a good name for her firm may be, so she needs to research this. Also, she needs a logo to go with the name. Hmmm. Sadly, this agent may continue to noodle on the same issues for months, and never get around to building her website or actually talking to any prospects.

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Example 2:  Another insurance agent (true story!) came from the Property & Casualty industry, doesn’t have deep financial planning experience, but is motivated by action. He sends a few email marketing messages to a database of contacts (past clients, prospects, friends, and neighbors), and he builds a website which promotes retirement income solutions, Social Security services and life insurance ideas. He begins by simply talking to prospects, builds income plans, proposes product solutions and has, as a result of all these efforts, made over $2 million of insurance sales in the past 2 months. Someone from Texas found his website, subscribed to his mailing list and is now considering a $400,000 annuity sale.

My point? Stop looking for the perfect marketing solution. It doesn’t exist, regardless of industry type. There are lots of good marketing programs—a good website, a list of clients and prospects, a regular direct mail program, scheduling events such as workshops or women’s programs or traditional seminars. Just pick a few; take action and get started.

We see too many people who spin their wheels, looking for the perfect firm name, website, and marketing method. Get out in front of people, knock on doors, tell them what you do. In short—get started. Much like agent #2 above, they will find you, you will learn by “getting your hands in the soil,” and success will be yours.

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Matt Tarkenton

Matt Tarkenton

Matt Tarkenton is Executive Vice President at Tarkenton Companies, and has started several businesses and is interested in business formation, strategy, and growth. He was part of a group that started Renova Partners, a boutique investment bank, and was recognized as a “40 Under 40: Up and Comer” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2009. Matt performs business planning and marketing training for hundreds of professionals across the country, and co-hosts a weekly coaching program on entrepreneurial education. Matt graduated from Princeton University, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. He maintains his Series 7, 63, and 79 licenses, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Youth Villages, on the Education Committee of the National Association of Fixed Annuities (NAFA), and in leadership positions in various organizations.