Huggin’ and Chalkin’

Business Development

I arrived a little late and found our branding Guru in the middle of one of his southern fried soliloquys.

“So you see,” he said, “the answer is like my old friend Charlie would put it: You got to go to huggin’ and chalkin’ if y’all are gonna get anywhere in that situation.”

The others all looked just as confused as I felt so I asked, “huggin” and chalkin’ what does that mean?”

“Fletch,” he replied, “I was just talkin’ about solutions to the problem of getting a business from start-up to gettin’ profitable and how it was like my friend Charlie and his romantic intentions.”

“Okay,” I said, “I’ll bite. What’s the story Bubba?”

“We were talkin’ about that story you told last week about the company trying to get to a sustainable level of business and I allowed as how you don’t always have to go whole hog. It’s like my buddy Charlie’s approach to romance.

Charlie is a big ol’ boy He must be about 6 foot two barefoot and tips the scales somewhere about 220. He’s got rugged good looks, played a little football well enough to get a pro look. But he wasn’t interested in that so he took his degree and then went to law school. He’s practicin’ down in Atlanta these days.”

Kate asked, “Bubba what has all that got to do with building sales for a company?”

“Everything, Madame Sales consultant,” he said. “You see Charlie has a different viewpoint about women. As you might expect he is what is considered a very eligible bachelor. But he’s not into all those gals that are continually on diets. Evah hear of Plus size models? Charlie likes Rubenesque women. And his approach to them is what he calls huggin’ and chalkin.’

Just about like any woman, the ones he prefers like to be kissed all over but ever so often time doesn’t allow or other things come up or some distraction interferes so what he does is tell the lass that he’s goin’ to put a little mark on her where he had to leave off and come back to it later.”

There was a chorus of “What’s the point, Bubba?”

“Okay y’all, the point is he calls that Huggin’ and Chalkin’. It’s the same when you’re tryin’ to build a company on limited funds. You go as far as you can to build trusted relationships with the time and money you have making sure that anyone that becomes a customer knows you really care about them.

When you have more time or money or both you go back to huggin’ and bringing more folks to the party. But you never forget where you were. You put the current customers into a regular follow up process. You touch them regularly. You treat them with kindness, courtesy and make them feel loved. You find a way to be there for them. You can chalk all that up to building a brand and a business.”

The Takeaway
Building a business with limited resources can be done. You can reduce your acquisition actions but never eliminate them. Keep contacting your current customers regularly in order to retain them.

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Look at the blog at:

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at

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