Joe Dager is president of Business901, a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena.  He takes his process thinking of over thirty years in marketing within a wide variety of industries and applies it through Lean Marketing Concepts. Joe put himself through college utilizing the GI Bill, the result of being a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, and as a welder at Asphalt Drum Mixers. This hands-on approach and an education in both in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering has served him well becoming President of that company and later leaving to own Barlow Marketing, re-start Burke Heating Systems, and Asphalt Machinery Corporation. He has over 30 years in the process equipment field and still regularly consults on some of the more difficult issues encountered. Joe Dager

He is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and has participated with companies involved in retail, manufacturing, software and professional services along their Quality Journey. In these companies, Joe developed and implemented sales and marketing strategies. Always being a process thinker, he attached Lean to the way of implementing sales and marketing and has advanced those practices through Design Thinking and Service Design concepts. The Business901 Blog and Podcast include many leading edge thinkers and been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg’s Business Week Exchange. Joe has authored four books with the most recent published this year, The Lean Engagement Team.

What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joe’s ability to combine his expertise with “out of the box” thinking is unsurpassed. He has always delivered quickly, cost effectively and with ingenuity. A brilliant mind that is always a pleasure to work with.” – James R.

 “Joe Dager is a leading author on Lean Six Sigma and Marketing and frequent contributor to the Lean Six Sigma Group community. Joe Dager is an experienced transformational executive and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with deep expertise in implementing value stream marketing systems that assist his clients in achieving rapid results in reaching their targeted customer markets. Joe is polished in the various online networking tools that enrich messaging in areas like podcasts, blogs, audio and video media, event marketing, and qualifying leads into prospects for rapid business development of opportunities. If you are in need of a professional lean six sigma consultant in sales and marketing processes, I recommend networking with Joe Dager, I am confident you will find his approach simple and results-focused.”-Steve B.

My Engagement Strategy:

Most people want ideas and applications that I would propose before we start working together. I equate that to starting on the right side of the A3 (with the answers in layman terms). I have developed a structure that makes more sense. I leave the customer to determine the level of commitment in people, resources, and budget for the encounter. At that time, I prepare a design brief for a nominal fee which incorporates the project outline for the proposed implementation.

I believe in creating a Lean Marketing system. You can’t write and teach Lean Sales and Marketing. It is a Learn by doing approach. What I do is provide you a platform for co-creation through joint experiences and incorporate feedback as we put them into practice. The steps of Lean Sales and Marketing are first you go and create a current state. Second, you form a working vision from the user (customer) experience, an ideal situation of where the user wants to go. Third, you visualize the user’s process. If you do that, it’s more obvious to see what your next reaction should be and when to trigger it.

Many people respond to the latest fad or solicit the cleverest idea to implement some sort of solution, thinking it will make them better. What makes your marketing better is understanding the user or customer experience and their processes. Then with hard work, take the time to figure out how to engage with them. It’s this process, that empowers you and which leads you to create better and more performing processes. Using this approach, a Lean system will outperform any other approach in engaging the customers you need, maintaining customers and working with people you like and who will be loyal to you and refer others to you forever.

This is the initial sequence of steps we use to create Marketing System in an organization. It ensures we carefully think through what outcomes we want to create, what supports and barriers we need to plan for, and who we have to involve within your organization to guarantee success. Our starting point:

  1. (Definition) What are you presently doing and how do your clients and organization feel about them?
  2. (Discovery) What is your present value proposition for retaining customers? What is your present value proposition for acquiring customers?
  3. (Dream)What are your targets? How will we measure success?
  4. (Design) Do you understand your customer’s decision making process? For each product/market segment?
  5. (Destiny) What’s your investment strategy – not only in media but in time and events?


We generally find that about 70% of organization budgets go to fees, creative and production, with 30% going to media, materials, internet presence and other out of pocket expenses. Over time, this usually shifts and actually can do a complete reversal, as we automate and will not need to recreate materials and programs from scratch.

Your monthly fee after that depends on how much you want to do yourself. For example, you may want to schedule a day a month to review your plans and programs and provide strategic coaching. On the other hand, you may need us to do the work: manage projects, find suppliers, prepare media plans, manage public relations and events, create flyer and ad templates and scripts.

Contracts are as long as makes sense to both of us – it may be that you need us more early in the year and then want to do more yourselves once the programs get going.

I have managed, owned and operated a variety of small businesses. I know how to deliver services to my clients. In this process, you will learn how to do a lot of things but more importantly discovering what you are able to do yourself and what needs to be hired out. This knowledge is what I hope to pass on to you.