So things are going fairly well. You’re busy – selling, marketing, taking orders, fulfilling promises, and in general, just doing your business. That’s great! It feels good and you’re active. And it’s going to keep going like this, right?
NOT SO FAST!
Enjoy your busy-ness (business) while it lasts, because things WILL slow down. Know why? Simple! You’ve stopped prospecting for new business. While you’re busy serving some of your customers, you’re not working to get new business from existing customers or business from new customers.
Your customer base is like a living, breathing thing. It needs to be fed energy, effort, and time.
After a very busy period, your business slows down and you’re back to “uh-oh, I need to get some sales!” Things can get distressing when they slow down and the bills and payroll days keep coming. This is a simple fact and it happens in all businesses, especially in the early stages.
If you have salespeople, you’re insulated from this a little bit, but it is happening to each of them, individually. It’s just that their business cycles cancel each other out to a degree, making YOUR business cycles less severe. If this is the case, coach THEM as follows:
How you react – the actions you take – when things slow down is crucial. People often say you should manage for results, but when results are slim, what do you “manage for” now?
MANAGE ACTIVITIES THAT LEAD TO RESULTS!
Try this formula.
- First, recognize the unease, fear, or concern when sales slow. This is real, but it is yours and it is not to be shared. Do NOT project this into your customer base. It’s negative and they will feel it. Suppress this emotion and project confidence.
- Think about what got you orders in the first place. What’s your formula? What’s your value-add? What are you selling? Remind yourself of your business roots.
- Set goals! How many calls will you make each day? How many appointments per week will you set? How many marketing e-mail blasts will you do and when? Write them down. Commit.
- Do the work! Achieve your activity goals with a positive attitude.
- Send out thank-you cards or e-mails to customers who just ordered and ASK THEM FOR REFERRALS. “If you know anyone else who could use our services, please send me a name or two…..”
I can’t count the number of times I have been in this situation, and yet when I started calling and doing the work and putting in the effort, the results came. BUT, here’s the weird part. The business often came from prospects and customers in my base that I had not yet contacted. It was like I was breathing life into my customer base on one side, yet the other was coming alive!
Think of your customer base as a living, breathing thing that needs your attention. Go give it the attention it needs. It works!
Let me know how it goes!