Author Keith F. Luscher
Some of us are in professions and industries whose ranks are actually thinning, as a direct or indirect result of this recession. Two very obvious examples are financial services and real estate. If you work in either of these areas, or are in another that is similarly being impacted, consider what you can do to maximize your prospecting efforts at a time when your competition may be backing off, or getting out altogether.
For example, some time ago I had a conversation with Jon Kirk of RE/MAX Premier Choice. Kirk is one of central Ohio’s most successful Realtors. To date, his business continues to thrive, despite all the “doom and gloom” you hear about in the media.
Kirk acknowledges that everyone has to tighten their belts. “We all have to do it,” he says in a matter-of-fact tone. “But we won’t let it pull us down, nor will we let it keep us from enjoying life. For example, instead of taking a trip, we do what we call ‘stay-cation.’ We take time off, do some leisure activities, but stay home instead of travelling far.”
While many companies focus on investing less in marketing, Kirk chooses to invest more wisely. “We’re using this time to shift our marketing efforts to brand-building and image advertising; to send out one simple message: we are here, and we are here to stay.”
That’s an important message when it comes to building long-term prosperous relationships for your business. People want to do business and work with professionals who will weather the tough times with them, and come out stronger and better in the end. What is the source of this strength? From where does this staying power come?
I believe staying power comes from a firm commitment to mission and purpose. It is also fueled by a solid belief in the value your work brings to the lives of others, not to mention a drive to continue to meet personal obligations and achieve your goals. It comes from the premise: Where there is a will, there is a way.
It is also recognizing that it’s not enough to have staying power. You must demonstrate it!
That’s exactly the purpose of Kirk’s strategy of using this time to build his personal brand. It is also a perfect example of what you could call “passive prospecting.” It is taking the small steps to reach out and touch prospects (through phone calls, newsletters, note cards, email, etc.) during a time when many others in the same industry are either throwing in the towel or laying dormant…waiting for times to get better.
Passive prospecting is a clear demonstration of staying power. It is not just telling your prospects that you are here to stay, but you are also here when they are ready to buy. That might be today, next month, or next year. Staying power is more than just surviving…it is staying top of mind in the head of your prospect, regardless of when they are ready to buy.
But when they are, rest assured that you will be in the right place, at the right time.
Keith F. Luscher, (Google Search) is a business development director for The Money Foundation, an independent investment professional’s think tank and production group operating within a broker-dealer. Prior to this he served professionals in the insurance and financial services industries as a management consultant. In that role, he advised producers on issues related to marketing and prospecting, and developed groundbreaking educational curriculum. In addition, Luscher is also a nationally known author, speaker, and expert in media, interpersonal communication and marketing.