November 25, 2015

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First Mediaworks

10/15/01 Dazed, Hungry And Confused
Maybe it's just the people who call me, but it seems that everyone to whom I've spoken lately is in pain. Companies are having a tough time, and friends are telling me they've never seen economic conditions as bad as they are today. Those with small businesses say they're hanging by a thread, just trying to stay alive. Many who have been in business for decades are operating in survival mode, barely able to make payroll. A few have already closed their doors.

In times like these, when the fog and gloom are suffocating, the rare friend who calls with happy news is like that first gulp of air after having been too long under water. Is now the time for you to become such a friend? Mentally, emotionally and financially, I believe it will prove to be the best investment you ever made.

Will you be a carrier of happy news, a bearer of sunlight and hope? Or will you be a rumormonger, spreading darkness, fear and gloom? If darkness seems delicious, don't be surprised when the only people glad to see you coming are those who are planning to fail. Indeed, "Misery loves company," so you'll always be welcome among the miserable; but not nearly so welcome as the bearer of a solution. It's an old saying, but worth repeating, "When everyone is cursing the darkness, he who stands tallest is the one who lights a candle." This is your opportunity to stand out.

Where there is pain, there is opportunity. Business people are in pain. They are plagued with their own expenses and desperately need help. Anything you do to offer help now will be remembered for years to come. What action, not directly tied to an invoice, can you do to help your customers?

In booming economic times, Radio stations compete with expensive contests and giveaways, and the only objective is to borrow listeners from other Radio stations. Do these contests and giveaways bring new Radio revenues that would not have been there anyway? No, not really. Yet even the smallest of financial gestures that you make right now will have enormous and lasting impact. Have you considered having a no-strings-attached seminar as a free and open gift to the business community? Have you spent any time brainstorming what might be done with your unsold inventory?

The most powerful thing that you can do doesn't cost you a dime. Business people who are suffering hard times are usually pretty down. Everyone they talk to is trying to take what little money they have, because they, too, are suffering. You can stand out by just being a sounding board for them, helping them brainstorm ideas, listening without strings. It is in rare moments such as these that true bonding happens and lifetime relationships are built.

Those who do a little extra to help keep their clients in business will stand out in this darkness like beacons on a hilltop. The risk is small, but the reward will be lifetime relationships that none will ever be able to break.
Besides that, its just the right thing to do.

P.S. One ray of light that will encourage business people is the new book from our own columnist Roy Williams, president of Roy H. Williams Marketing Inc. Magical Worlds of the Wizard of Ads is both light-hearted and filled with proven business growth techniques it's currently on The Wall Street Journal bestseller list. At the very least, you might read it and share its advice as "a candle in the darkness.

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