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Published:May 26th, 2009 18:55 EST
Is There a Silver Lining to this Bad Economy?

Is There a Silver Lining to this Bad Economy?

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)

So many people who I know are whining and moaning about the effects of the bad economy on their business. I can`t deny that this economy has had devastating effects for many people. And even though the media is saying that the recession might be over, the truth is that unemployment lags the rest of the economic indicators. That means that many more layoffs are on the horizon, and many more businesses are going to go down the drain as a result of the economy that we`ve experienced over the last 6 to 12 months or more.

All is not lost, however, as a result of the recession. At my company, the mantra for this year is "be superlative." That means that we have to be the best, the strongest, the fastest, the hungriest, and the people who want the business the most.

I believe that even though a huge percentage of the realtors in the business have gone out of business, and 80% of the mortgage brokers in the business have left the business, the 20% who are left are absolutely going to get the spoils of all the business that once was spread amongst a much larger pool. The question to ask is "How do you put yourself in the position to capture that business?"

I know for myself that this economy has made me look at my business and all of the activities that we do in a new way. And unlike the conventional wisdom which says cut costs, reduce expenses, reduce exposure and cut overhead to the bone, my attitude is entirely different. Rather than cutting costs and taking dramatic measures to reduce the business, our goal is growth. We want to take market share away from the 80% who are leaving their businesses.

This opportunity is the Silver Lining to the down turn and dismay that so many people have experienced.

I know that lots of opportunity is on the horizon, and our goal is to take business from people who can no longer afford to be in business. Whether it`s seminars, film finance, advisory services or the acquisition of distressed real estate where our team can add value, lots of opportunities exist.

This economy has caused me to take actions that I haven`t taken in more than 20 years, and I have to say our company and me personally are better off for taking those actions. I personally have been on the phone, calling prospective customers, calling colleagues and people who I network with to set up lunches and meetings. I am making phone calls and arranging conferences with an aggressiveness that I haven`t felt in many years.

When I was young I had "cauliflower ear" and "blisters on my fingers" from dialing the phone repeatedly. But over the years, I`ve delegated many of those tasks to team members whose job it is to help me sell. But with the downtrodden economy, I`ve taken those responsibilities back, and have jumped into the pool and started dialing the phone and making calls and making contacts like never before. And I have to say the effort that I`ve put out has more than rewarded me in many different ways.

Aside from financial benefit, I`ve also received benefit from a reinvigoration of my own attitude. Getting on the phone and dialing like crazy has resulted in the development of contacts that I did not have before, and the restoration of relationships that had grown cold over time. Sure, it`s a lot of work to get on the phone and make the calls. But the benefits that I`m experiencing are fabulous. The hard work that I`m doing now, which reminds me of the hard work that I did early in my career, are providing rewards that we haven`t seen in a long time. Our business is booming. Your business should be booming too.

And in this economy, your business will either boom or go bust so follow my lead and make the calls.

Try it. It`s not easy. It might even be painful at first. But once you get in the habit of making calls and talking to customers as well as prospects, you`ll see that the benefits will come to you. Your sales staff should be pounding on the phones like never before. And if they`re not pounding on the phones, then you need to be thinking about whether or not these people have the right attitude to help you to be superlative. If they`re not helping your company to be the best that it can be, if they`re not helping your company to be the best in your industry, then you`re not going to be part of the top 20% that`s going to succeed.

Think hard about this, and take these actions. It will pay off not only in the end, but in the immediate short run as well. A silver lining doesn`t come along every day, so be sure to take advantage of this one.

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About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc. Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker, advisor and faculty member of the iLearningGlobal community.

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