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Do You Fight, Flight or Freeze in the Face of a Challenge?

As I write this blog, in the UK we are in the midst of lock down. No one is going out – all networking has moved online, along with all meetings. Many businesses across the country have had to temporarily shut down or furlough their staff. Times ahead could be tough. And yet last month I took on two new clients who both wanted to start work on their marketing straight away!

How did this happen?

Fight, Flight or Freeze?

The human brain has three reactions to difficult situations – fight, flight or freeze. There are businesses that have just frozen. They have shut down or are too overwhelmed to know what to do … so they are doing nothing. The owners of these businesses have told me that there is no new business to be found, that no one is spending any money and that we’re all doomed. They say that we must wait it out and get back to ‘business as normal’ once these strange times are over. Personally I don’t think that we will be going back to business as ‘normal’; I also think that these businesses that are freezing will not survive this current ice age.

Other businesses are flying, or fleeing. They are running away from the challenges and the changes, in the hope that they can reach a safe place in which to wait out the big freeze. They are still open for business, but they’re not doing much to adapt their services to something that their clients and prospects might actually want or need to buy right now. They will focus on being reactive – waiting for requests that might come from their clients. And if those requests don’t come, they will just hunker down and wait for the warmer weather to return. In the past this is how I might have reacted to change – resist it for as long as possible!

The third group of businesses include my two new clients. They are fighting hard to survive. They know that now is the most important time to ramp up their marketing efforts, to make sure that their voices are heard by their clients and their prospects. They know that they need to be shouting louder than any of their competitors, in order to grab their fair share of the available business. They also know that right now, looking at how best they can serve their clients and prospects – responding and adapting to their changing needs – is what will win them new business.

Know Where You’re Going

One of my new clients is a marketing research consultancy – Compass Research. They know that right now, they can serve their clients and contacts by providing a service that will help those businesses to become more competitive and fight harder. Rather than thinking about selling to their clients, they are focusing on how they can serve them. They are spending time contacting their clients and prospects to ask how they can help them to build an advantage over their competitors. What can you offer your clients, to help them build a stronger business?

Marketing Mondays

Motivated and inspired by the fighting spirit of my clients, at the start of April I launched a new Facebook group called Marketing Mondays. It’s a place where you can ask any question you have about marketing. On the first and third Monday of every month we have a free Zoom call, where you can ask your marketing questions and pick my brains! Join the club now and then book your place on our next call.

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