1. Ignore your customers.
If you neglect your customers, someone else will be happy to take them. Remember, 68% of customers leave due to perceived indifference – they think you don’t care! Instead of focusing all your efforts chasing new ones, cut yourself a great deal because it is 6 times more expensive to get a new one than it is to keep an existing one. By the way, have you graded your customers A – D? Focus on A & B, convert C’s, and let the D’s go! The general rule is to keep some kind of contact at least every 90 days. That could be a call, visit, card, or email. You are only limited by your imagination.
2. Stop advertising, marketing, promoting.
Avoid the knee-jerk panic reaction which accelerates the downward spiral. Remember, real marketing starts long before the sale and continues long after. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, you just have to be selective and prudent. Contact me and I will be glad to share 21 low to no cost ways to get noticed. By the way, any advertising you do must be “call to action” type. Forget image, ring the cash register! Focus on your target, communicate a compelling offer, and drive the sale!
3. Neglect your team.
Now more than ever, the team has to be “hitting on all cylinders”. You have less tolerance for under-performance and waste. There are too many good folks looking for jobs. One advantage of this recession is the opportunity to select some great talent. As the leader, you must strike a careful balance, encouraging and motivating the team while sharing feedback and hold them accountable. Travel and training are among the first cuts when budgets get tight. Technology helps us communicate (conference calls and webinars) and that helps with travel cuts. Remember, professionals (aren’t we all?) train, train, train. What you invest now pays dividends in the future.
4. Waste your time.
Your only non-renewable resource is your time. Once today is gone, it is gone forever. Ask yourself: What is the best use of my time for the business right now? Ask that every day, especially as you plan the next one. By the way, the best time to plan tomorrow is at the end of today. Another suggestion: Turn off automatic receipt of email. The time you save each day from that distraction will startle you. One more thing: When was the last time you updated your default calendar? Take control – do it today!
5. Make excuses for doing any of the above.
Who are you kidding? If you are guilty of succumbing to the temptations above, I have two things to say to you: One, congratulations, you are human. Two, you can do something about it. Decide to start now, take ownership and be accountable. All of us choose how we respond to the curve balls that business throws at us. If what you have been doing is not yielding the results you want, something has to change. Nothing will change until you do. Are you involved in or committed to your business? Involvement means we take action when it is convenient, commitment means we accept no excuses, only results. Now, get out there and do what you do best.