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No One Wants to Talk About This But You Better Be

No One Wants to Talk About This But You Better Be

October 29, 2008

I'm glad most of my conversations don't go like this. But I have to tell you about this one because it really was eye-opening. Here's the question I asked that killed it.

"Where's the silver lining?"

"What do you mean?" came the response.

"I mean, there's plenty of doom and gloom about the economy right now," I explained. "You're already pulling back on your marketing and advertising, you're talking about laying people off and you're even thinking about moving to reduce your lease costs.

"But where's the silver lining? In the midst of the dismal economic conditions, where are the opportunities for you? In other words, what can you give your hungry fish that they want or need right now?"

Silence.

That's the response I got from Larry who I met a conference several days ago. It's the same response I got from Jan, Stephen, Craig and Lisa.

Unfortunately, I've been getting that quite a bit lately from business owners as I've been talking to them about how to not only survive, but thrive in today's economy. But most entrepreneurs are so busy figuring out how to cut costs (large corporations seem to be leading this trend) that they're instead resorting to layoffs and shut downs. Despite all my business acumen, I still don't understand how a business can expect to do well when it lays off 10% of its workforce. But open up the newspaper or any online news site and that's what you see ...

AmEx to Eliminate 7,000 Jobs
- Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2008

Gannett to Cut 10% of Staff at Local Papers
- Wired News, October 28, 2008

Fidelity May Layoff 9% of its Workforce
- Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2008

That's just in the last day. No one is even talking about the opportunities that exist. Maybe it's just not PC to talk about it, but you know what? You better be! Your livelihood depends on it!

Opportunities are found in the silver linings ...

There are a few people I met in Florida at a conference for real estate investors who get it! They have dozens of terrific ideas to capitalize on today's market conditions that I'm putting together in a special report that I'll be releasing shortly. They're actually looking for opportunities to grow and they've got terrific ideas to do it that I'll be sharing!

As I explained to them, your prospects are looking for answers right now. This is no time to be crawling under a rock. It's time to get out and put yourself front and center.

Tell your prospects how you can help them. One of the best methods to do that is to educate them with free reports, e-books or fact sheets they can download from your website. If your prospects are worried about credit card debt offer them your best ideas to consolidate their debt and rely less on plastic. If they're worried about rising food bills, give them recipes for preparing dinners for a family of four for under $17. If they're worried about electricity costs during the winter months, offer them 10 tips to cut their heating bills.

You get the idea. First, figure out what's keeping your hungry fish up at night? What are they worried about? Next, determine how you can best help them. Then, promote it. Submit it to the local newspapers, offer to talk about your solutions on a local radio talk show, distribute it at local fairs, include it in your marketing and advertising and talk about it everywhere you go.

It's a lead generation tool so be sure to have a follow-up system in place to convert those leads into sales. Call your leads, follow-up with mail campaigns - and not just one! You may need to follow-up five, six or seven times before they finally take an action.

The key is to keep following up until your prospects say, "No." Until then, your goal is to get to "Yes!"

Taking you from where you are to where you want to go,

Jon