Expert's Opinion

Staying Up in a Down Market

By Dr. Jim Harris, President, Ropella Leadership Transformation Corporate Technology Clients | August 6, 2012

Dr. Jim Harris provides some principles to keep you going when times get tough.

Here are eight powerful principles presented in a simple acrostic to guide you and your team in how to stay up in a down market.

S = Sell value. Get away from strictly selling on price – that’s where everyone else lives today. Instead, focus and highlight the value of your service, product, or relationships. People still buy value. And if your value proposition is anywhere close to reasonable, you win!

T = Throw the box out of the window. Now is the time for new, fresh, never before imagined thinking on how to uncover new pockets of growth and profit. Don’t just settle for one or two new potential avenues. Use brainstorming, mind mapping, and creative problem solving techniques to discover dozens if not hundreds of ways to uncover new business and increase revenues.

A + Y = Abandon Yesterday. Typically the most difficult thing for leaders and business owners to do in tough economies is to give up what has worked in the past. Clinging too hard and too long upon, “It’s the way we do things around here,” could be the tipping point for failure. Always remember that today’s solutions were designed for yesterday’s problems.

I = Increase your skills and knowledge. To meet today’s challenges and prepare yourself for what’s next, it is imperative that you continue to get better at what you do and to gain more insight on how to do it better. Read books. Attend webinars. Set aside time everyday to learn something new.

N = Narrowcast. Minimize your broadcasting attempts to reach huge, diverse audiences. Rather, narrow your marketing and prospecting efforts to, for example, your top 100 current or potential customers. Then work this list to death! Go narrow and deep with those who are most receptive to your value offerings.

G = Get a coach. Tiger Woods has one. Michael Dell has four. If these hugely successful professionals see the value of using a professional coach, we should, too. Understand that I practice what I preach. I’ve had a professional coach/mentor for the past seven years. Without question, his guidance, insight, and accountability has boosted my success to heights I would have never reached on my own. Good coaching works!

U = Unleash your top talent. Now is the time to let your best people loose; to unchain them from unnecessary rules and regulations. Let them try their ideas. Give them the freedom to succeed. My audiences always laugh when I say, “It’s easier to reign in a thoroughbred than to push a pig!” Let your thoroughbreds to get out of the gate.

P = Pray. Do not be offended, because most of us do turn to the power of prayer when faced with difficulties. Time spent in serious introspection and reflection strengthens our hearts, our minds, and our soul.

May these principles be a catalyst for you and your team to stay up in a down market.

About the Author
Dr. Jim Harris teaches thousands of professionals every year how to crystallize their goals, leverage their strengths, energize their teams, and realize their significance as a professional and as a leader. From keynotes and workshops to 1-on-1 coaching and digital learning products, Dr. Jim helps transform your potential into productivity, and your passion into results. An author of eight books, Dr. Jim offers you, your team and your audience a unique combination of perspective, insight, passion and integrity.

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