Thursday, December 4, 2008

You Can't Win If You Don't Show Up

Shortly before Thanksgiving I saw a news story about how Nissan, the number 3 Japanese car maker, decided to pull out of the Detroit and Chicago auto shows citing a tough economy and lack of innovation in new products to present. When I saw this story, I wondered what kind of message does this send to their customers and their competitors?

Early in the week, news broke that our economy is in a recession and we have been so since December of last year. It didn't take a Mensa member to figure this out. Most of us could tell just by the way other businesses have been acting especially when it comes to the business we conduct with others in our own consulting practices.

I'm sure most of you have heard this excuse, or some variation, over the last year.

"We're not going to do anything now or in the foreseeable future until things pick up."

In other words, clients are telling you that they don't want to spend money with you despite the apparent need for your services. You know it and they know it, but they would rather be like Nissan - holding back on the way they do business until things get better, whenever that happens. Does that make sense to you? Would you stop or hold back on what you have been doing that made you successful now and in the past or should your reposition yourself under the current conditions and play then hand that has been dealt to you, work harder and look for new opportunities?

Before you accept "no" for an answer, talk once again to them about the need. It doesn't go away despite the economy. If you believe all of the news reports you would think that cars have stopped running, planes are grounded and factories have ground to a halt. Business is still being conducted because there are needs that require fulfillment. More importantly, your client's competitors are still doing business. It's no different for your clients (unless they really want to go out of business) and the focus should not be on the money being spent, but the value it brings and what its ultimate potential is.

Nissan is wrong to pull out of the Detroit and Chicago auto shows. I know the auto industry is a tough business to be in these days, but if they don't show they send a message to their customers and their competitors that they are not worthy of their position in the marketplace and provide little value or benefit to their consumers. Rather than be a no-show, they should showcase their current models and spotlight the value of their products. Show the public they are strong and dedicated to their products.

Think about this scenario in regard to your business. Do you think you will be in business much longer if you hold back and act like Nissan? Show your clients how you fulfill a specific needs and provide value. Look for new opportunities like Mike Fisch, TVCNet member, illustrated in his recent blog post. It's more important now than ever before. In a tough economy, this is one way you can stand out by showing your commitment to the quality of your work and a dedication to your craft.

1 comment:

Yimmi said...


You hit it right on the nose! I know in our business it does not pay to pull back and wait. We are in a time where if you move forward while others are pulling back you are positioning yourself for a good amount of business when the economy gets back into full swing.

Thanks for the perspective!

Jim Allen
Integrity Audio Visual