This blog is brought to you from "rainy" Southern California,
specifically Fallbrook, CA. Sitting in my office this morning, I look out
over our avocado grove and am feeling fortunate - I don't have to turn on the
sprinklers for a while as we've had significant rains this year. As you
might know, Southern California has been under drought conditions for a few
years, and this year we've exceeded the "usual" rain count by quite a
bit. Thank heavens for small favors...
We are in the renewal season for IMC membership, and we are doing well.
Not surprisingly, the number one reason for members not renewing has been the
economy, and because of that we've offered a number of members "payment
plans" to continue their membership which have been accepted. I wish
no one had to ask for these, but most people whose crystal balls I believe
tell me that in the middle to latter part of the year things will be back to more
like normal. This is good news, as it has been a long "drought"
for many of our members.
If you are in this boat, i.e., you would like a payment plan so you can
continue your membership. please contact Gail McCauley at gail@imcusa or (202)
Which brings me to my topic for today, getting business in down times.
For many, this has been a challenging year - I know of many long term members
who have been hit particularly hard. But it hasn't been all bad - I have
had a large number of members tell me it is their best year in a long time.
What I've come to learn through this is that in down times, we sometimes
have to go outside of our sweet spots and reinvent ourselves. That is
where I see the power of IMC and our community. Over the years, those of
us who have been successful have taken advantages of down times to reinvent
ourselves, and to do so we frequently call upon our IMC network to help us think through the details. Mark Haas and I have that type of relationship - it is more the
norm than the exception that we bounce new ideas off of one another for
business. This for me is the value of my membership.
Many people tell me that they joined IMC to get more business, but that it
didn't work out that way for them. When they tell me this, I generally ask them
what have they done to get known among their peers, and they generally say they
come to meetings. I then ask them would they put their business reputation
on the line with their clients by referring business to people they really
don't know that well, and they say, "of course not."
Therein lies the conundrum. Most people expect others to
refer business to them, but do little to make themselves known and trusted so that they
We all want referrals - Alan Weiss calls them "it is the coin of the
realm" - but we don't get ourselves known well enough, i.e., help people see what we are capable of and that we are trustworthy, so that we can get them. I have made it known that I don't refer business to people
unless they are a CMC®, because their holding the CMC® tells me that they are invested in
their business and IMC enough to go through the certification process, and that
when I refer them to someone they have the results, experience and ethics that
I value as a consultant. Yes, I have to know them, but without the CMC®
I don't refer them business.
Bottom line, get involved on a national or chapter level - and through that you
will begin to build the relationships necessary to make IMC a referral machine
for your business.
One last thing - next week we begin the ISO 17024 certification visits to get
our CMC® certification process certified by ISO and IAF. When
we are granted that certification, I will let everyone know via email and the
Yours in consulting,
This post has not been tagged.