Moving It Forward
Read a great piece from Deloitte today: Every organization must choose its own path, striking a powerful balance between investing in growth, driving efficiency, managing risk and meeting compliance obligations. It's no longer about the downturn or the upturn. It's about your turn.
Their recent poll offered some insight into how others are viewing what "their turn" should be. When asked, "Where is growth on your organization's agenda?" The responses were:
- 21% still in survival mode
- 33% exploring growth opportunities
- 20% analyzing growth opportunities
- 26% implementing growth strategies
Even if you're thinking all you should be doing is "staying alive," here's a fundamental growth approach any business executive/owner could take on, right now, to keep the business they have on an upward ramp and to bring in new clients/customers. What really fuels and sustains growth is practical action, consistent follow-up and an understanding that people make buying decisions when they're ready--- not when we want them to.
So it's imperative to be "in front of them," ready to do business, at exactly that moment. Knowing that, here are four simple tips to ensure that your organization is always there when your potential buyers are ready:
- Act as if they already are a customer/client. If you have a monthly client e-newsletter (our example), add prospects to the subscription roster. If you do quarterly client seminars, invite potential clients to attend. Provide the same level of value and substance that you do to clients.
- Consciously seek to strengthen their level of trust now. If you're not following Charles Green's exceptional advice on trust, start reading his work and do as he says. And, if you don't know his trust equation, here it is. I found it transformative.
- Communicate with potential clients/customers in at least five media. Don't assume email is the only thing people read, or that print must be sent to reach someone. In addition to those obvious tools, why not leave a personal phone message without ever having to dial anyone? Try voice broadcasting. Plus, if you're an organization with a sales force, consider leaving this message from your President or CEO--- a leadership touch with substance. After all, if we are treating them like clients already, so let's make sure that the only touches they receive are not from salespeople.
Or, are you currently equipped to include closed community video on your e-communication or your websites? This is a powerful way to share solid information, and be personable about it. My strongest recommendation: EvolveCast.
- Be a Thought-Leader. Position someone in the organization as a provider of very interesting, valuable information related-or even unrelated-to what you offer. Attractive white papers or even e-books, offered at no fee, definitely provide lots of excuses to stay top of mind.
In late 2008, I sat at a CEO roundtable with nine men. As we discussed how we saw the economy impacting our lives, seven of them were doom and gloom. The youngest CEO (age 37, with a firm that had been growing by at least 20% a year for its first three years) and I held on to the belief that regardless of how we felt, we needed to move forward... even if it was only one very small step. Believing that, considering acquisitions or mergers made no economic sense for my business, I adopted the more basic growth strategy of treating potential clients like clients right then and there... and have never looked back.
I'm curious: Are you doing it too? And, if not, are you willing to try?