So the fish aren’t biting. It happens.
But what’s the appropriate response–pack up your bait and go home? Expect the fish to follow you and ring your bell? Hardly.
Yet that’s the response many retailers and manufacturers are having to the current economic crisis. When the phone stops ringing, unplug it and make sure it never rings again!
I equate it to the dating scene. If you’re single and looking for [insert appropriate term here], you have a number of options these days, with varying price points. Online services, dating agencies, chat rooms, referrals from friends and the dubious Blind Date. If you find yourself with limited resources, do you quit trying altogether? That’s sure to leave you home alone on Saturday night.
You adjust your game plan. Instead of that expensive agency, try a 30-day trial membership on a website. Instead of that website, comb through your Facebook friends and see if there’s anyone single and local you haven’t seen in a while. Distasteful as they may seem, blind dates (at least the act of arranging them) remains free to this day.
And, for the price of a beer or two, there’s always the bar and club option.
The point is, you ain’t gonna get any [repeat appropriate term here] without any effort. You gotta spend money to make money. How can you get any meat if you don’t eat your pudding?
When the economy goes south, the first thing that gets cut is sales and marketing. It’s seen as “indulgent,” an “expense,” even “frivolous.” If you stop maintaining your car, what happens? Eventually, it breaks down. But it’s running fine, you say–why spend perfectly good money when there’s nothing wrong with it? Because one day you’re really going to need it and it won’t start.
When times are good, advertise. When times are bad, advertise more. I’m not saying take out a Super Bowl commercial. These days, there are all kinds of ways to get your name out there for a lot less money than it used to cost. Not coincidentally, we happen to be sitting on myriad of said ways.
On top of that, tweak your message–no matter what you’ve got to offer, it has to make people’s lives better in some way, right? Otherwise, you wouldn’t exist. Play that up. Do you save people money? Do you help them make money? Do you make life more enjoyable? There are all kinds of ways your message can be tailored to fit the times and keep you relevant. Adapt or die.
But for Pete’s sake, do something.
Don’t settle for kissing your pillow. You’re better than that.