Last week, I was interviewed for an hour on a talk radio program about small business and the current and future economic conditions. We started by simply discussing the FUD factor -- how fear, uncertainly and doubt have crept into our lives and impacts decision making, purchasing patterns and budgeting. I spoke to the need for leadership at the executive level. Whether you have five employees or 500, the game face is as critical as is sound planning. We discussed the topics I noted in my earlier blog entries, but at the end I gave the listeners four action steps to take:
1. Hold a company meeting. Speak the truth, but be positive. Speak to the reasons you started the company, the philosophy and the number of customers you serve. But also speak to the need for everyone to be efficient, cost effective and thinking about how to sell more, bill more and work together. The leader must take these opportunities to provide vision and strength.
2. Analyze your customer base. Determine what you have sold them -- can you upgrade them? Determine what you have not sold them, and then create a six-week plan to contact every customer. Make a list and make sure each customer is touched. In the six-week plan, include a minimum of one action a week that each salesperson and you must do to promote the company.
3. Seek leverage. Find two business ecosystem partners. These are companies that sell non-competitive but related products/services to your customer base. Then develop a plan to work together to share leads, hold joint marketing events, share customer lists, etc. The secret is to create a mutual goal that, by working together, each company will sell X dollars within 90 days.
4. Now get'r done.
Posted by Ken Thoreson on December 16, 2008 at 11:59 AM