Yes, this is a great time to analyze the strengths of your business
(great reputation, strong relationships with clients) and come clean
on your challenges (wrong team, no marketing), then act to solidify
your strengths and shore up your weaknesses.
Also, get your business balanced, make sure you are not too
dependent on any one thing (clients, bureaus, staff) that has too
much control over your business. You may need different streams of
income and/or different markets, delivery methods, or clients.
Start looking now at the industries in which you speak. Are they
more vulnerable to a recession? No matter what this economy does,
there will always be industries that will be hit earlier and harder and
other industries that continue to thrive.
Get focused. Get clear on whom you serve, what you offer, and what
differentiates you in the marketplace. Two of the biggest challenges
you face in a shifting economy are fear and envy: fear that you should
be doing something else, and envy that your competitor is doing something you should be doing. Chasing shiny objects and doing work that
is not in your wheelhouse will cost you. The clearer you are on your
business strategy, the better litmus test you have to make decisions on
where to spend your time, your money, and your energy.
Does my business
strategy need to change
during a recession?
The only way to continue to build your sales funnel
is to continue to build your sales funnel. There is no
sexy answer or magic bullet. It’s hard work. Pick up
the phone, send emails, commit an hour or more each
day to making calls and following up. Ask your speaker
friends for referrals, work your past client relationships, invest in building your network, and make calls
to associations. In any economy, but especially in a
recession, you need a strong, consistent sales strategy.
To stay visible, you need to add value. Ask yourself
how you can add value to your client and prospect
relationships. Invite them to webinars, send relevant
articles, refer them business, or find ways to partner
with them for mutual benefit. Now is a great time
to review your LinkedIn profile, get better at using
video, and build a bank of relevant content you can
share in all forms of media.
You need a strong strategy that combines
both sales and marketing. This is a great time
to sit down and really create your prospect list,
those 100 clients for whom you would love to
speak. Then determine how you are going to
engage with them, consistently, over time.
Creating a follow-up system that ensures you
have eight to 10 touchpoints for each prospect
will keep you selling and highly visible. Just
make sure that when reaching out to prospects
you think about adding value as often as you
think about getting the gig. Then take action,
commit time every day—yes, every day—to
selling. Your number of booked gigs and your
ability to keep your speaking fee in a desirable
range are in direct proportion to how much time
and energy you spend on marketing and sales.
How can I continue to build my sales
funnel and stay visible with clients?
Pick up the
an hour or more
each day to
making calls and