Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Engagement Helps Makes Your Company Recession Proof

Baton the hatches and sound the alarm! Every news channel, newspaper or business periodical is predicting an impending recession. Business owners are already scratching their heads as they grapple with whom amongst their staff they will have to let go when the economic vise begins to tighten. Companies are evaluating promotional offers, considering lowering prices and are becoming less focused on customer service.

There's no doubt about it....times are looking pretty bleak. In fact for some, the distant future is looking downright scary. Many companies will be hurt by a downturn in the economy; some as you might suspect won't survive. People will unfortunately lose their jobs as organizations tighten the belt in an effort to survive. Customers will be inevitably affected as both quality and service of some products and services will undoubtedly begin to suffer.

Bleak times for sure. It reminds me of late 1999 when the Dot.Bomb explosion happened. Our economy which had been buoyed somewhat by the dawning of a brick and mortar-less model of doing business through the Internet began to see the same economic fears bubbling to the surface. People were scared. People were worried that we were headed right smack into a recession at that time too.

I remember sitting at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon sometime in late 1999 and listening to other business executives and owners complain about the economy. Their fears were not unfounded, much like the concerns of today, as discussions of how many businesses would not survive the tough economic times ahead. I remember sitting quietly and just listening and taking it all in. A man whom I had known for quite some time said to me, "Aren't you worried Steve. You just started a new venture and you have mouths to feed. Doesn't all of this scare you?"

I will admit I was a bit concerned on the inside; hard not to be when you live in the world of 24 Hour news channels. But my reply to him is the same as it would be today. "No."

The times ahead are survivable for smart executives and business owners. The single reason I was able to grow my company in a time when people were facing decisions much like they are today was I had prepared. I had engaged my customers and prospects and gave compelling and economically sound reasons to buy from me and to continue buying from me. I had created a strong bond with my prospects by understanding how I helped ease some of the economic pressures they might be facing and how my products and solutions could actually help them do more with less. I engaged them and learned from them. I did not sell them. I did not attempt to wow them with desperate discounts. I invested in them so they would feel comfortable investing with me.

These economic times are survivable my friends and I believe your ability to engage your prospects, customers, vendors and your employees is an essential strategy. So how engaged are you with them? Remember when people are thinking about which bills to pay they often factor into who they like and enjoy doing business with the most before deciding who should get paid now and who should wait. Employees who might be susceptible to greener pasture opportunities are less likely to leave the company if they have a strong relationship with their boss or management team. Customers are less likely to abandon ship for a lower discounted offer when they feel valued by the companies they do business with.

So again I ask you, how engaged are you?

There are too many ways to leverage the power of engagement to go into here. If you're interested I would suggest picking up my book to learn more about how I leveraged the power of engagement and connection to not only survive and grow my business but in the end find the path I was truly destined to be on. Click here for information on purchase my book.

Just remember, engagement is a key factor to surviving the troubled waters ahead. You don't have to lose those customers. You don't have to quit selling the products and services you need to sell at the price you need to get. You don't need to worry about losing your key staff to more lucrative and secure offers. You do need to start engaging on every conceivable level and you need to start today!

Good luck. Good Rippling. And for God's sake...turn off those negative news channels and put down those bad news newspapers. Go prove these pundits wrong. You can do it. I believe in you!

Ripple On!!!


Arlin K. Pauler said...

I can't believe there are no comments on this post yet. Where is everybody?
I think you are so so correct on this Steve. It seems to me that economic downturn is at least 80% self fulfilling prophesy. It will never happen to any major extent without the leaderless conspiracy of mass gloom and doom. I am so glad that there are people like you out there preaching the gospel of possibility. For possibility is also self fulfilling prophesy. The question is, do we want to be part of the problem or part of the solution.
You are also right on as far as I am concerned with the engagement factor. While engagement is always essential, it is even more important in times like now when we have to choose between hopelessness and possibility. The act of engaging prospects with my sincere offer of what I have that can make their situation better encourages them to think for themselves and not follow the mass hysteria promoted by the mass media. I this as my only shot at not getting drawn in my own self imposed economic downturn.
Once again, you have delivered a great message.
Ripple on, Arlin

Steve Harper said...


I had missed your comment. I am sorry about that!

Great points you make and thanks for the positive works on my post. It always means a lot coming from you!

Your point of being part of the problem or being a part of the solution is a solid one.

I too am surprised that we didn't get more of a response on this one. As one friend mentioned to me recently about this very post was maybe people NOT talking about it makes it something easier to ignore. I think that would of course be a mistake.

Thanks my friend and we are overdue for a phone catch up. Late February perhaps?


Arlin K. Pauler said...

As to ignoring it, thanks to this blog it is less ignored now than before you commented on it. This is the sort of thing that some is always better then none.
"To them that faithful with little, much is given". "From little acorns big oaks grow" and all sort of stuff. I believe that most of the time great things are achieve only in small increments.
Ripple on, Arlin.