Dustin Fickbohm

Your Customers and Coronavirus

Your customers are the lifeline of your business. Now, more than ever, you have a great opportunity to support them. As major corporations send out their “here’s what we’re doing to protect you” messages (I’ve already received several from banks, hotels, and airlines), consider taking a different approach.

If you are in a position to HELP, offer to help. Each of us, as businesses and individuals, has different skill sets. Consider how you might be able to help your customers that have helped you and your business grow.

Offer whatever support you can to them, sending out a message about THEM and not about your business. The goodwill you create from an act such as this would be immeasurable.

Be safe out there. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Help others.

Dustin Fickbohm
Impeach Is A Verb

Impeach. It tends to be viewed as an ugly word, and in this day/age/country, incredibly polarizing. But I want to take a step back from that polarization for a second and look at the most basic definition of the word.

If we consider the most basic definition, removing it from the political or legal nuances that we tend to attach it to, it becomes an incredibly valuable, albeit difficult, action that can be internally applied to a business.

There are mountains of data, both industry provided, and internally for your specific business, that deserve a certain level of scrutiny. One of the values DBM Grow brings to businesses is a the ability to analyze and scrutinize the “facts” and data that you assume to be true. Here are a couple of examples to better illustrate what we have done, and perhaps what you should be doing internally with your business to maximize profit and see growth.

The first example, a client in the southwest with a robust marketing budget and a lack of understanding as to what those marketing dollars were actually doing for him. The client was spending thousands of dollars with local radio and television stations. And with each passing month, he would receive reports showing how many people had heard or seen his ads on tv, radio, and the stations respective websites. Growing frustrated by the thousands of dollars being spent and the seemingly small return on that money, DBM Grow took a look at what actually happened when a consumer saw or heard an ad. The end result was rather simple. The media stations were accurately reporting how many times our client was visible to the public, but they were providing no measurement as to how many people acted on those ads. Essentially, everybody was seeing the ads, but nobody was picking up the phone or visiting the clients website. The radio and TV stations were saying “look at all the people seeing your ad”, but upon closer scrutiny, those views and listeners didn’t create business.

A second scenario emerged for us with a client that employed us to generate leads for their business. Doing the job we were contracted to do, we built a campaign and drove traffic to a website on behalf of our clients, but several months into the process we were met with a complaint that “this isn’t working”. Knowing that there were plenty of leads coming in but there wasn’t an increase in business, somebody needed to be impeached, right?

Upon further scrutiny, it was discovered that a number of the leads generated weren’t being contacted or followed up at all. So, while the client spent money and we generated leads, the staff at this particular business was doing very little with the leads that were being provided. The end result was that DBM Grow built the client a nifty KPI dashboard to give them the ability to scrutinize staff and, “impeach” those that weren’t doing their job following up with leads.

In the end, no person, product or process is above impeachment. Challenging the credibility of the facts and people in your organization can lead you to positive change. In truth, it can also prove that you are doing things the right way and your employees are performing at a high standard.

If you’re looking for growth, challenge the status quo. Play devil’s advocate. Impeach. Scrutinize. And if you need an outside set of eyes to help you take a fresh look or you need a system built to keep a closer eye on those Key indicators, Contact DBM Grow…we’re always willing to take closer a look.

Dustin Fickbohm
Growing Your Business in 2020 and Beyond

As we all prepare for the calendar to flip to 2020, growth is on the minds of many of our current clients and likely on your mind too. However, thinking about growth and working towards growth are two keenly different things. So, here are a handful of ways to identify your growth opportunities in 2020 and beyond.

Identify (or re-identify) Your Consumer

In order to first understand your demand, you need to understand WHO your potential customer is. Often, they might be identified with common characteristics like age, gender, location, etc. but don’t overlook soft variables like lifestyle, values, and attitude.

When you again focus on who your potential customer is, you can sometimes find a new focus or a new understanding for who they are, where they are, and what they want.

Buying Decisions

When, where, and how your customers purchase your goods or services can be an important way to identify growth potential. When do people buy your good or service? Where do they buy it? How do they pay? How often are they making this buying decision?

Know Your Direct Competition

In identifying your customers, you’ve taken a basic look at demand. When you take a closer look at your competition, you have a better understanding of supply. Who else is doing what you do, where you do it? Who else is serving the same customers with the same goods or services?

When you’ve identified your competition, take a closer look which of those competitors are growing and why. What is their value proposition? What competitive advantages do they have?

Know Your Indirect Competition

If you sell snow cones and Carla’s Cold Treats on Main Street sells ice cream, you must entertain the notion that while your product is not identical, your consumer may be. And, in doing so, ask those same questions about your indirect competition that you have asked about your direct competition. Who’s growing? What is their value proposition? What is their advantage?

Analyze Complementary Products and Services

When someone buys your product or service, what else THAT YOU DO NOT PROVIDE, do they often purchase? If you sell toasters, you should be aware of the different types of bread trending in today’s markets. If you sell bathing suits on the beach, how is the market for suntan lotion in your area? This valuable insight can lead to a shift in your product or service, but it might also lead you to enter a space or category that you hadn’t previously considered.

Analyze Your Environment

You might be able to identify new or additional opportunities for growth by looking at the changes in the world your industry serves. Has technology evolved? Have the regulations or rules governing your industry changed? Politics, climate, and financial markets can also influence opportunities for growth.

At DBM Grow, our focus is on your business growth. It’s in our name!!!

If you’re searching for growth in 2020 or beyond, answering some of the questions above can help you identify growth opportunities. And if you’d like another set of eyes to help you identify those opportunities, we’re here to help! Schedule a free consultation with us today!


Dustin Fickbohm
We’re looking for a few good men and women!

Plain and simple…if you’re a Realtor, we should probably talk…because we’re looking for a few good men and women in the real estate industry.

Generating leads is one of the things that DBM Grow (formerly Direct Business Marketing) has done very well over the past decade. Originally cutting our teeth in the Real Estate industry, DBM Grow has been helping real estate agents and Realtors generate leads and close more transactions at an alarming rate.

With that in mind, answer these three questions to see if you’re the right fit to join our client list…

Are you a real estate agent looking for more listings?

Seems like a simple question with an obvious answer, but there are two million active real estate licenses in the United States. Let’s be honest and say that not all 2 million are looking for more business.

Do you have the time, energy, desire to work leads for a handful of minutes per day?

Some people just don’t have a good grip on their schedule. Some can’t time block well. Some don’t want to cold call prospects.

Do you have the budget to run a marketing program?

This is my LEAST favorite question, simply because the average agent doesn’t even THINK about a marketing budget. The next transaction closing determines how much they can spend.

So, honestly, we’re looking for a few good men and women… from one agent to a handful of agents in any given area. We don’t provide our seller leads to listings program to anybody who wants it. It’s successful for our clients. So, we’re not going to saturate any given market with our clients competing against our clients.

If you answered “YES” to the 3 questions above. Let’s talk. Here’s my calendar. You find a time that works for you. Calendly – Dustin Fickbohm

Dustin Fickbohm
For Business Owners: Protect Your Most Valuable Asset

As a business owners, you might find yourselves wearing a dozen different hats during any given day. You’ve got sales calls or customer service or employee management or marketing or brand management or product development or inventory control or any number of other things that need to be taken care of.

So, among those things, what is your most important asset? You could certainly make a case for your Brand or your products or your employees or your customers. Depending on your perspective at any given moment, each of those things could be categorized as your “MOST IMPORTANT” asset.

But I want to challenge you to think a bit more abstractly about this. While all of the things listed above are critical to your business, it’s important to consider another thing that business owners value immensely…


Your time is likely your most valuable asset. You have a finite amount of it. You can’t get more than 24 hours out of any day. But you CAN use your time more efficiently and effectively. And that’s one of the many ways that DBMGrow helps businesses and business owners.

Over the past decade, DBM Grow has worked with companies to automate the process of doing business. This has manifested itself in a number of ways. And, as a business owner who values time, I’d encourage you to reflect on these.

  • Automating interactions via social media
  • Creating templates and standards for employees, staff or colleagues to follow
  • Standardizing processes and procedures for HOW you conduct business
  • Automating lead follow-up processes
  • Connecting multiple pieces of information and data to better understand your business and it’s bottom line

These are just a few examples. But hopefully they get you to look at what and how you are doing things on a daily basis. More importantly, where can you save time, effort and energy in automating or standardizing a process? What are some things that you MUST do in your business, but hate doing? What are things that need to be done, but they feel like a waste of YOUR time? What are the things that you avoid doing until the last minute? What are the things that frustrate you because of their monotonous, repetitive nature?

Those are great questions to ask yourself as you look at protecting your most valuable asset…your TIME.

Dustin Fickbohm
The Evolution of Marketing Communication

As a part of our roles as Business Consultants here at DBM Grow, we spend a fair amount of time helping businesses attract new clients or customers. And, generally speaking, collecting a lead or contact information isn’t all that challenging. The success or failure of a marketing campaign that generates leads is usually defined by the follow-up…. “what does a business DO after they have a lead or a person’s contact information? “.

Ten years ago, there were basically three avenues to follow-up with these “internet” leads. Email was the most popular source of follow-up because it was typically the easiest information to cull from a user online. And the follow-up via email was quick, easy and could often be automated…even in the internet stone ages of a decade ago. The phone number was also a possibility. People still talked on the phone in 2010, right? And the third option that was commonly used was a mailer to their physical address. Those were the times we lived in.

Today, those three avenues still exist, but we’ve added a host of other ways to connect and communicate with potential customers…texting, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and others….have all been added to the list.

Depending on your customer base, how you reach out to a potential client can vary. If you’re dealing with the corporate type, perhaps LinkedIn or email or a phone call are most appropriate. If your target is 20-somethings, you might choose to avoid email and evolve to a more modern technology.

Maybe all of this seems rather obvious. And to the savvy business owner, it probably is. But we see two common failures in this process among our clients that struggle to turn a lead into a customer.

First and foremost, if possible,


When you first capture a lead, you have no idea how they prefer to communicate. So, in as many ways as you can, reach out to them with a short message to see how they prefer to communicate. Send a brief text or a message on Facebook or give them a quick call.

And secondly,


Too often, we as business owners are most comfortable doing what’s easiest or most comfortable to us. So, if email is easiest, we gravitate to email. Or if we’re used to calling, we pick up the phone and dial. However, when you reach out to a lead in multiple ways, you can determine their communication comfort zone. And when they choose to respond to you via phone or text or email or some other method, DON’T IGNORE THAT METHOD. Your lead has essentially raised their hand and said “Yes, I prefer text messages” or “I’m on Facebook all the time. So, I’ll respond to your messages there.” And keep the communications in their preferred method until it is necessary to move to a different method. At some point you may have to meet them or call them or email them, but until that is a necessity, stay in their lane.

It’s no secret that following up on leads is critical. But as technology, apps, and social media evolve, HOW you follow up must also evolve. Reach out in as many ways as you can. Find their communication comfort zone. Stay in their comfort zone until there is a reason to change and close more leads by doing so.

If this is something that you don’t have time for, don’t do well, or need help with. Feel free to reach out to us at DBM Grow. We solve problems like this every day for our clients and you could be the next one we help!

Dustin Fickbohm
Mirror Marketing – The Best Marketing Idea You’ll Ever Find

Prepare to be amazed and inspired by the newest craze in marketing…Mirror Marketing. Truth be told, there are two mirrors within this wild new idea that should be explained and explored.

Actually, Mirror Marketing isn’t new at all. It’s been around since the beginning of time. I’ve just used a little bit of alliteration to slap a fancy name on it. Mirror Marketing is probably best explained with the common phrase “don’t reinvent the wheel”. The idea is simple really. Take a look around at the SUCCESSFUL people providing the same services or products as you and “mirror” what they’re doing.

Undoubtedly, there may be a learning curve to the process, but copying success isn’t a bad idea. A number of our clients exist in professional industry groups that share ideas and brainstorm about what is working for them and what has failed to meet expectations. If others in your industry are having success, take a closer look at them and “mirror” what they are doing. Are they waking up at 5am? Are them running radio ads during rush hour? Are they handing out flyers at carnivals?

The second mirror in this amazing marketing idea is the mirror that you use to shave or curl your hair or brush your teeth every morning. Before you ever decide to copy the success of someone else, you should take a good hard look in that mirror and decide if you have the ability, discipline, or financial means to copy that success.

We see this “shiny object syndrome” with clients and potential clients regularly.

“State Mutual Insurance Company is using the new XRB3700 Automatic Customer Acquisition Widget! We need to get that too!”

And off they go, chasing a TOOL that they can’t afford, don’t know how to use, or don’t have the discipline/process in place to use effectively. This is one of the consultative things that we help our clients with…deciding whether that shiny new tool is really meant for them. Ultimately, the client always decides, but having a third party to offer feedback never hurts.

So, there you have it! Mirror Marketing…the best idea you never had. Just remember, before you decide to mirror somebody else’s success, take a good look in the mirror and decide if this new endeavor genuinely fits your style, your business, or your needs.



Dustin Fickbohm
Do You Have Enough Business…and Is it Really Enough?

It’s often said that a business is either growing or dying. And while that might be true, the vast number of businesses exist in a place where they’re doing enough…enough to pay the bills, enough to keep the doors open, enough to live a comfortable life.

If you’re one of those businesses in the middle, a business that has enough but isn’t dying and isn’t really growing, why are you in that place? And when you examine why you are in that place, it’s important to look at it from both sides.

First, why are you not dying? What is it that you do well as a business that keeps customers coming back to you? Maybe your product is the best. Perhaps your customer service is second to none. Maybe you serve a niche that nobody else fills. What are the things that you’re doing to cause the money to keep coming in?

Secondly, examine why you aren’t growing. Have you saturated the market? Is your location or reach too small? Does your process waste time and/or money? Is your product second rate?

There are probably a number of accurate answers to the questions above, but question previously posed rings true for almost every business existing in this middle ground of “enough”…PROCESS.

In business, growth is much like the human experience. The clothes that fit when you were a toddler (or a new business owner) won’t fit when you’re an adolescent. The food you needed as a baby is not the same as the nourishment you need as a teen. How you get to school as kindergartner is likely very different than how you get to school as a high schooler.

Often, your potential growth is crippled by process because making a dozen cupcakes in your kitchen to sell at a bake sale is much different than making 200 dozen cupcakes every week to feed your customer base. Getting information to your two salespeople is drastically different than disseminating information to a national sales force.

Having a process with growth in mind eliminates questions that waste your time and money. “How do we do XYZ?” or “When do we take the next step?” are questions that no longer have to be asked because the process answers them. This gives your team, or employees, the ability to function freely on their own, much as you would as the business owner or decision maker.

If you’re stuck in that wobbling world of “enough”, look at your process. Or betting yet, let the team at DBM Grow take a look at your process. It may be the very reason that your “enough” isn’t turning into “more”.

Dustin Fickbohm
Business Blind Spots

Running a business is potentially the most challenging and the most rewarding thing a person can do in their professional life. Being the decision maker and affecting the bottom line on a daily basis can be stressful or exciting, and sometimes both.

Even in situations where you have a world of knowledge about your product or service, there are times when your business acumen might fail you. Or perhaps you’re incredibly business savvy…but the product or service you provide is just a conduit to make money. Hence, your knowledge of the product or service fails you.

These are all business blind spots. Every business owner has them, but the strongest business owners are often the ones that recognize those blind spots exist. This isn’t a new idea. Many people in the business academia talk about surrounding yourself with people smarter than you or having a team to collaborate with. These are ideas that speak directly to seeing past your blind spot.

Take a minute to reflect on your business. What have you NOT accomplished yet? What have you always dreamed of doing within your business? What’s that one thing you can’t seem to push across the goal line? Chances are, some of these unfulfilled aspirations exist because you have a blind spot…something that you’re not fluent in.

If you can identify those blind spots, you can find someone who has those skillsets or visions that you lack and collaborate with them to move beyond. If you CAN’T identify those blind spots, it’s time to open yourself up to an outside perspective.

A consultant, a coach, a mentor…whatever you want to call that person…THAT is the perspective you should lean on.
So, take a minute. Identify those blind spots and find someone who has the vision where you don’t. Can’t find any blind spots? Find an ally that can locate them for you, because they certainly exist.

Dustin Fickbohm