One thing I have learned over the years in business is there will always be some ups and downs. Some are small, others more of a roller coaster ride! When ups and downs happen, as the leader, you know how important it is to stay the course rather than make major changes.
Now, staying the course does not equal no change. Instead, it involves connecting with your vision, understanding the market place and evaluating your systems. Are they in alignment? For example, as we enter summer, business may slow down as more of your customers take holidays and are away from work. If your customer base is primarily business, the rotating holiday schedule may delay the decision making process, even when a sale appeared imminent just prior. In this situation, you won’t make drastic changes, but may have to adjust your business operations or attract new clients who are open for business.
Regardless of which approach you choose, it is important to have a clear vision and strong systems in place so you can make subtle shifts effectively. Recently I have experienced a series of ups and downs in my business.
The Spark in all of this was a major setback when a client backed out at the last minute. Do you believe in coincidences? As I write this post, I have a smile on my face… realizing that coincidences do happen! When one door shuts another opens. You just have to be looking!
As I mentioned, I was speaking with a potential client who was indecisive on taking next steps. Long story short, we’d been doing the “sell-dance” and ended when they decided not to move forward on their project. They loved what I could bring to the table and wanted to work with me because they could clearly see where I could lead the transitions they want to make … yet they decided to put everything on hold.
Ok, I must admit that this is not the first time I’ve experienced this same scenario, but it’s still frustrating! I’m sure you can relate.
When facing this situation, I have found two key questions can help potential clients to make a decision. “What specifically will motivate you to make a decision?” and “Is money the major obstacle?”
This gentle roller coaster ride resulted in some amazing business opportunities to appear because I was prepared and open for business. After receiving the news that I wouldn’t be starting this major project, I had to redirect my focus. Fortunately I had not put all my eggs in one basket and had kept looking, talking and making business proposals. I also found the process I underwent with that client forced me to really shift my mindset and let go of the result and just go with the flow.
I don’t know which of these items were the positive influence, but I do know that one or all of them worked! I was offered a new project by a former client which starts shortly, received several referrals, identified two new potential clients and projects where I could really help add value, and I create a new way to grow my business.
Your take away….
1. Think Big — opportunities abound when you keep your eyes open to possibilities
2. Stay Positive — one set back or two isn’t enough when you have a strong will to succeed
3. Be willing to Exert some Effort in the process — we all want instant results but a little elbow grease always helps
4. Focus on the Future — Just because one potential client keeps telling you positive responses, until they put money in your hands, they are only a prospect. Don’t let any other prospects or leads pass you by!
5. Don’t Give Up! — Persistence, consistency and communicating your value in your prospect/customer’s language is key!
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.
When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.