Building Your Own Stimulus Package
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Posted by: Alan Weiss
No one forecast the financial collapse
(except those catastrophists who were "predicting" it every day for
ten years) and no one quite saw the recovery starting so soon. You're better
off relying on Atlantic City boardwalk psychics and racetrack touts than you
are stock market "experts" (aka "shamans").
You have to take your fate into your own hands. That means, I believe, being
your own stimulus package. The government isn't going to bail out professional
services providers any time soon!
Areas to focus on
Here are some key areas to start investing time and money in right now, based
on the assumption that the recovery is not going to take several years and
based on the fact that those who invest during down times recover and rebound
far faster and stronger than those who do not. (See my blog on research to this
effect conducted by McGraw-Hill and others: http://www.contrarianconsulting.com.)
Value to market: What NEW value can you present to existing clients? These are
people who know you and respect you, but who have probably cut back on the
"same old, same old" and believe that investment in new ideas and new
approaches are better justified than returning to old patterns. Build on your
reputation by presenting new products, services, and/or relationships.
Example: If you've been assisting a client with coaching and retention in the
past, now emphasize coaching the all-stars and top performers, since they are
the keys to retain in a recovery (where competition will be hiring again) and
the fastest producers to "hit the ground running."
Self-development: The effects of the downswing will be lingering in terms of
client and prospect conservatism, cynicism, and outright fear. You will need to
provide comfort and confidence to invest and move forward. (Some may be short
of cash, but that doesn't mean they have no cash, and you have to lobby for
your share.) Do you have the skills to market and sell in that environment, or
do you need to develop your own abilities to meet those conditions?
Example: Carve out the time to attend a workshop, teleconference, mastermind
group, or other experience that will help to either validate your current
approaches or "shock" you into some new ones.
Creating a fresh image: A web site is a credibility factor in this business,
not a sales factor. Executive buyers of professional services don't troll the
web looking for help. But they may well hear of you, read a book you've
written, meet you at an event, or encounter your name by some other means, and
they will go to your site to perform due diligence. Have you invested in both
content and technology that represent you well and provide support for your
Example: The overwhelming majority of professional sites have home pages
talking about "values" and "vision" and
"integrity." No one really cares. What they want to know is what's in
it for them and who says so. You should have typical client results and
powerful testimonials (including video testimonials) on your home page, and
menu pages which provide high assurance of expertise, not methodology.
If you don't, no one will
I could go on, but you get the point. Industries, organizations, and economic
sectors have made cases for support, assistance, and even bailout. We are not
going to receive such largesse, nor should we.
In fact, nothing will "sell" a prospect as much as a successful
professional! I don't want help from someone who is struggling in the same way
that I am. (And this is the answer, by the way, to "Will you have the time
to deal with us?" No one should want to hire someone desperately sitting
by the phone praying for business.) I want a ski instructor who is better than
I am by a factor of at least 10, and I want a consultant or designer or
attorney or coach or facilitator who has not just "weathered" the
economic storm, but has surfed confidently and well, right on top of the waves.
If you don't develop yourself and your market approach and manifest that
success, no one else is going to do it for you. Now is the time to build your
own, personal, customized stimulus package and revitalize your business and
And you know that you can't be turned down when you apply.
© Alan Weiss 2009 All rights reserved.
Alan Weiss, Ph.D., CMC, probably has the strongest independent consulting brand
in the country, and maybe beyond. He is the author of 35+ books appearing in 9
languages. He runs the unique Million Dollar Consulting® College three times a
year, has won dozens of writing and consulting awards and is a member of the
Professional Speaking Hall of Fame.® Contact him at
http:www.summitconsulting.com, or his blog, http://www.contrarianconsulting.com.