This Economy Demands Best Practices, Not Free Services!

Published on May 1, 2009

Stories are going around how companies and suppliers of professionals are doing work for free to assist their clients in need.

They rationalize this because business is slow and they want to keep their employees busy. They also want to be there for their clients.

You want to be there for your clients? Become relevant!

The concept of doing free work has been used as a solid marketing strategy for years. Occassionally, I have given a free talk to certain groups as a marketing vehicle to generate new prospects sitting in the audience. And yes, in this down economy, we have helped clients by providing additional value for a nominal cost. But make no mistake about it, we still got paid for our work.

Once you give your services and products away for free, you immediately lose your value and you will never gain it all back.

This recession has changed the way the world does business. If you are doing no business or very little business, the market is talking to you. It is saying you either have to re-adjust your services to become relevant again or look for new markets who want what you have.

As a professional speaker and consultant, I am taking my materials and creating internet based venues to continue educating and advising my clients. The market is calling for this as companies have drastically reduced their travel and meeting budgets.

My messages are also being refined to be relevant to the needs of my market. And yes, I am marketing to industries that value my services and are willing to pay for them.

We all have a responsibility to reinvent ourselves and stay relevant to our markets. Only when we are relevant can we adequately serve our clients. We also have to maintain fiscal strength. It’s the same as being a care giver for a sick person.

You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself and stay strong.

Markets like Financials Services may be decimated. But they will come back. They may be re-aligned in terms of players. They certainly will be doing business differently. If you are working with any of these businesses, do yourself a favor and figure out how to stay relevant, prosper and grow. Your customers are counting on you.

If you simply use this time to ride out the storm, you will be weakened and when the recovery occurs, you will be bypassed by the competition.

Your employees have nothing to do? Have them develop solutions for your clients and make a living doing it. You owe it to yourself, your family, your employees and your clients. Make your sales team relevant today.

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