Sometimes It IS Just About The Wedding Dress

by Guest Expert

I've seen some recent comments from speakers, trainers and consultants along the lines of: "Companies that are cutting training budgets are shooting themselves in the foot." "Now is the time organisations most need motivation and inspiration." "If you don't invest in the downturn, you won't be competitive when the economy turns around."

While these might be true, they don't necessarily match what's going on in your clients' heads. For many people, the global financial crisis is a crisis, and that might mean a focus on short-term action rather than long-term benefit.

Businesses are looking at profit, not growth.
Employees are thinking about their jobs, not their careers.
Investors are considering cash flow, not wealth.
Sales teams are being rewarded for transactions, not relationships.
Workplace teams are being driven by fear, not trust.
Budgets are being evaluated for cutting non-essentials, not investing in the future.

So what does this mean for you?

If you're fortunate enough to work in an area that isn't being hurt by the downturn, great - this advice is not for you.

If you're fortunate enough to work with enlightened clients who are still willing to invest in their future, again this advice isn't for you.

But if your clients are hurting now and screaming out for help, focus on their short-term pain. And that might mean sacrificing what you'd like to do, and do what they need instead.

Ask yourself whether your sales conversations, marketing materials and presentation outcomes are based on long-term issues that might not be as relevant in the current economic climate. If they are, change them - even if you know this isn't the long-term solution.

Sure, we all know that, all other things being equal, we "should" do leadership, teamwork, personal leadership, the triple bottom line, fire prevention and environmental sustainability.

But all things are not equal right now.

For some people in the midst of the crisis, management is more important than leadership; being directive is more important than being collaborative; individual productivity is more important than teamwork; firefighting is more important than fire prevention; survival is more important than sustainability; and urgency is more important than importance.

Every health expert tells us the secrets to a healthy lifestyle are regular exercise and a balanced diet. But sometimes it is about fitting into that wedding dress. And if you don't address that need, your sales, marketing and presentations will fall on deaf ears.

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Filed under Improve My Bottom Line. Posted by The Corporate Toolbox on