There is no reason to participate in any kind of market slow down. In fact, as business cultivators, this type of business climate is when plant more seeds and do more cultivating.
Seth Godin the marketing guru and author of The Purple Cow, Permission Marketing and his latest book – Meatball Sundae, had this to say about farming versus hunting on his blog back in 2007.
"Five thousand years ago, every human was a hunter. If you were hungry, you got a rock or a stick and you went hunting. The problem was that all of the animals were either dead or really good at hiding. Fortunately, we discovered/invented the idea of farming. Plant seeds, fertilize em, water em, watch em grow and then you harvest them. The idea spread and it lead to the birth of civilization.”
Five thousand years ago, every human was a hunter. Everyone got the idea… except for marketeers. Marketeers still like to hunt. What marketeers discovered, though, is that the good prospects are as good at hiding as ancient game."
Lucky for those of us who are in referral networking groups, we already know about the effects of farming: planting and cultivating and harvesting. Peter Drucker, the modern guru of corporate management wrote in 1974, "Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only these two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are 'costs.'"
If you are not spending the majority of your time marketing or innovating, you are going to be out of business.
Man discovered/invented the idea of farming. Plant seeds, fertilize em, water em, watch em grow and then you harvest them. When it comes to getting new leads, every business owner should ask themselves every day, "What else can I do to bring more business." Referral networking groups are also about farming, about planting seeds, cultivating, watering and harvesting. Think of that which you nurture now as part of your future harvest of referrals.
What can you do now to affect the harvest in the future?
Steven Covey and his 7 Habits of Highly Successful People lists bullets points for the process:
1. Be Proactive
2. Begin with the End in Mind
3. Put First Things First
4. Think Win-Win
5. Seek to Understand, Then to Be Understood
7. Sharpen the Saw
Before the first of the seven habits, the course teaches some basic Foundation Principals. Among them is the concept of The Emotional Bank Account or EBA. It is a concept that can be applied to every relationship in your life: Personal, Professional, Societal, Familial – Co-worker, vendor, client, prospect, family member, chapter member, community member…, the list is endless.
On a plain piece of paper draw a single horizontal line. As close to the center as possible place a vertical line through the horizontal one. On one side of the vertical line place a minus sign (-) and on the other side place a plus sign (+).
This will be your measure of the balance in this particular account. You can create one for each relationship in your life.
On the plus side write the deposits that you have made or now intend to make. On the minus side write the withdrawals that might have happened or will happen in the future if you do not take some action.
Even if for every relationship the pluses are more than the minuses, think of new ways to fill up the plus side. Each item on the plus side is either another seed or some water or some fertilizer that will bring future benefits at harvest time.
Yes there is no reason to participate in a recession or any market place slowdown, when you can plant and nurture your seeds during any economic time and each such act is marketing so that your business will grow.
Remember your referral network and farming.
David Aaronson runs a Marketing business with an emphasis on using the Internet to improve profitability. He is also the local Chapter Director Consultant of BNI for West Hollywood and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org