Are you wondering how to keep up the momentum in your business during the coronavirus shutdown? Today, I want to share a powerful but simple model that can keep you moving forward.
I’ve been talking a lot about the importance of ramping up your business communication, staying in touch with clients and others in your community, and having more conversations.
And in those conversations you should be sharing:
Ideas: Here’s something that may be helpful…
Insights: What I’ve realized is…
Resources: Where you can find this tool…
Connections: Who you should be speaking with…
Sharing these things is especially useful when you’re isolated, and just as important when your business goes back to normal.
But all these communications, connections, and conversations won’t do you much good unless you do something else.
Next, you need to DEVELOP those ideas, insights, resources, and connections into something useful.
Let me give you a scenario:
You’re meeting with a client to share some ideas they can use to work with their employees virtually. The client appreciates the ideas and you both feel inspired.
Then you take that inspiration to write an article that you can send to all your clients. And you then follow-up to get more client meetings and expand on the ideas you’ve shared. And ultimately, that simple idea may evolve into a new service helping more clients manage their employees virtually
Connect – Develop – Re-Connect – Re-Develop
This isn’t anything new. In fact, it’s the creative process in action used by business people every day.
But too often the ideas that are generated through our connections and conversations go nowhere. We just move on to the next thing, the next conversation. And nothing new gets developed.
But we can also fall into the “development trap.” That’s when we develop ideas and services in isolation, never sharing anything with anyone. We don’t get feedback from our peers or our clients and the development goes nowhere.
This connection – development model can be applied to a wide variety of situations in our businesses.
Developing a new service. Start with some brainstorming with clients or peers and then develop a prototype. Get some feedback and develop further until you have something your clients really want.
Creating marketing materials. Discuss what you want to accomplish with your materials with a coach or consultant. Write your first draft until you can’t go any further. Then get some input and pushback. Work on a second, third and final draft. Then test the materials with a limited number of prospective clients and measure the results. Keep fine-tuning until the materials get the desired response.
Writing a business proposal. Speak with a prospective client to understand their needs and objectives. Write a first draft of the proposal without a price tag yet and run it by your prospect. Make changes in the proposal until you are both in alignment about what you’ll deliver. Only then, put a price on your offering. This dramatically increases the acceptance of your proposals.
None of this is theoretical. I’ve been applying this connection – development process for years.
Right now, I hope you’re making more connections than ever. You’re trying to discover what is wanted and needed right now. So, don’t try to sell your services right now. Have conversations to better understand what will help your clients the most. Then develop something and run it by them for feedback. Before long, you’ll emerge with something they’ll be interested in hiring you to help them with.
Also, remember, when in the development phase, there are a lot of things you can do.
Write a report or proposal, create a Power-Point, shoot a simple video, offer a webinar, put out a survey, or start a newsletter. In other words, do whatever works to develop the ideas you’ve generated through your connections.
Your Action Plan
Plan to connect with several people this week, primarily clients and other close business connections. Start generating new ideas and strategies and then put on your development hat and go to work to make your ideas both real and valuable.
By the way, this article came out of a conversation with a client on Friday. I drew this model on a piece of paper and then made it into a graphic soon after. This article was the natural next step. Now I’ll be using this model with the participants in my Marketing Action Groups.