A little while back, I warned you about
"the Big Nothing". That's the time between November and the
end of the year when everything goes screwy. People prepare for the holidays.
They shop. They travel.
They don't return phone calls.
As you may have already experienced, it
can be very frustrating trying to run a business amidst all the personal
delays. It happens every year, and this year it's happening more intensely
than most. November saw a full week of productivity get sucked down the
drain due to American Thanksgiving. Before that, most of us had to write
off the second half of September and the entire month of October just
to recover from the 9/11 attacks.
In Early December, the USA government
finally acknowledged what everyone already knew: the American economy
had been in a recession since March, 2001.
If you found your business slowing down,
you're not alone. But if you had been spending your time planting seeds
and marketing your business, you would be smart. And here's why:
First, I realize that while advertising
and marketing people tell you to "advertise in the down times",
that's not so easy for businesses who have been beaten up all year. When
you're hurting for cash flow, it's not fun to cough up big dollars just
to watch them float out into the ether.
But the truth is that everyone has that
same issue, which means the "clutter" factor is definitely down.
The chance of making contact now -- and over this last period -- with
real, decision-making contacts is higher when business is slow. I know
it has been for me.
Second, if you're reading this, it means
that you have integrated the web -- or at the very least e-mail -- into
your marketing tactics. And as we all know, e-mail is cheap. If you had
been cherry-picking targets and approaching them professionally, you may
have found what I'm finding:
Few of these decision makers is saying
"no". Almost respondent is saying, "I like it. We need
to talk in January." The way I see it, I think everyone is doing
what they can to not spend money in fiscal 2001 so that they can preserve
what's left of their bottom line. That's a good sign.
So that leaves the rest of December, of
which you should be aware of the following:
1. People check out mentally for the holidays.
2. The check-out begins the week before Christmas
3. The week after Christmas is usually surprisingly active -- so stay
on your toes.
After that, be aware of Trick January.
Trick January is simply the recognition of the fact that nothing happens
in the first week of January, either! Even if January 1 falls on a weekend,
it generally takes people a week to get their business affairs back up
to speed from the winter holidays. Give them the first week to recover.
Book your follow up for the second week of January.
Then get ready for a good solid run of
business. If you've planted your lead seeds, this is the season where
they should be sprouting.
And now, let us pray.......