3. Meeting with former clients.
In the book “The Pumpkin Plan,” author Mike Michalowicz encourages entrepreneurs to meet with clients to get feedback on client needs—if you’re not serving a need you’re dead in the water. He recommends you ask them questions to understand what their challenges are.
Once you actually start building products and solutions that meet your customers’ most pressing challenges, they will become your customer again. Taking this time to go “out into the field” is a valuable use of your time. Your customers will appreciate your questions since this is not a sales-focused discussion—it’s research. At the same time when you finish your series of interviews you should have everything you would need to create a more relevant approach.
4. Meeting with power partners.
There are key people who refer business to you. These are people who sell products or services complimentary to what you do. By meeting with the people who could influence your buyer, you will better your chance that when his or her customer asks—you will be the person who gets that referral.
On a related note of trading tips, a good use of your time is joining entrepreneur groups to get feedback from other entrepreneurs in your local city or town. Sometimes working alone all the time can feel lonely—so get out there and network with other people who are hustling like you are. You might get some good nuggets you can apply to your own business. Plus you will be much happier knowing you are not the only one.
5. Write and speak.
Alan Weiss, author of “Million Dollar Consulting” asserts the holy trinity is writing, speaking and consulting. No matter what industry you’re in, a great way to get exposure for your business is thought leadership. To be a thought leader you need to make time to have “thoughts.”
You need to take time to not only do outreach to event organizations and publications, but you also need to come up with the content. If you aren’t producing content in 2013 spend some time learning about how to create compelling content. Join the speaking organization Toastmasters. Being a blogger, speaker and sought after media personality is immensely helpful for your business—but it takes time. It also takes consistency–you need to make thought leadership an every-day thing.
Those are my five tips to navigating slow periods. The most important tip is to realize you are not alone. We are all out here navigating rough terrains along side you. Don’t forget to ask for help, and give yourself celebratory pats on the back even for completing tasks that don’t have to do with sales.
Connect with Blake on Twitter.
Photo: Massimo Dutti
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