Whether or not we are technically in a recession is for the economists to decide. But, for most of us business is down. This is a call to action for us to do things differently than last year.
While I don’t have a magic wand, here are some commons sense things to do in tough times:
• Spend more time talking to your customers and less time listening to the pundits–they are wrong most of the time anyway.
• Reconsider your outsourced services; instead, do it yourself or do without.
• Manage accounts receivable daily since cash is king. Once you get it hoard it.
• This is not a market for price increases since they be the straw that breaks the camel’s back with some customers. Instead, try making your offering better or more valuable.
• Invest in web marketing tools and reduce off-line marketing costs. Cut your yellow pages and consider pay-per-click advertising.
• Be visible at community, industry, and philanthropic events. Make noise.
• Hand written note cards are a relic of a kinder and gentler past—send them to customers after meetings and projects. You will get noticed.
• Do a telephone blitz to customers and prospects. Leave phone messages that say you are thinking about them. Let them know you care.
• This is the time for face-to-face visits with customers. Get out the office and have coffee with your customers. Listen to their problems. You won’t need to say much.
• Be flexible with payment terms since this may make or break a deal.
• Say thank you to your customers. Stop and listen to them. Be grateful.
This recession is not business as usual. What worked last year may not apply now. Take a hard look at your day-to-day activities and do what is important. Postpone or discard the rest.
John Bradley Jackson
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