As the effect of the economic downturn has been worsening I have a seen a dramatic increase in the number of emails that offer me advice. The ten things you must do in a recession: the top three sales tricks in a downturn; five ways to beat the competition in a tough economy etc. Most of these emails come with the punch line that you just need to subscribe to this webinar, or to that conference or some type of training etc.
These emails are a sign of the times … they remind me of the phone calls I sometimes get … my software will save your company money; or I will make your salespeople four times as productive if you … pick any one of a dozen things they want from me, all of which involve money.
Don’t get me wrong … these people are being more active in selling their solutions and services in a market where there are less buyers. By being proactive they increase their chances of actually hitting someone who is interested at that point in time.
As a CEO of a small business I get lots of advice … sometimes even advice I ask for! The reality is that it is my responsibility to steer my company through the good times and the bad times. I will make mistakes, like everyone else … and I only need to look at some of the big “disaster companies” in the news (like Nortel, GM etc) to know that there are plenty of CEOs making mistakes. I always try to have as much input as possible … sometimes its less than I would like … but the end decision will be mine.
I have been “scolded” several times by over-zealous sales people. Am I nuts! How could I not spend time to hear about how they can improve my profitability! I have had experts insulted that I chose not to follow their recommendations. Lawyers have felt I did not give their “risk analysis” enough consideration … but at the end of the day I have to follow my own counsel.
How many times do you hear people complain about their investment portfolio theses days?
How many people complain about their job?
How many people complain about their personal situation?
How many people didn’t like the restaurant, the book, the movie, the house that they live in?
So … whether you are running a business or making any kind of decision. YOU need to make your own call. Gather as much information as possible, take full responsibility for your own destiny and make your own call. Then you have no one to blame but yourself, and if you made the wrong call you are well capable of fixing it with a new decision!