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Sharing Ideas in Times of Crisis

Building a community

5/28/2020 | Danette Gossett, From Good to Great

I have been in this business quite a long time. Over 25 years, although it doesn’t seem that long at all. Probably because I am a marketer at heart and enjoy what I do every day.

And for most of those years I have done this business on my own. Relying on my business acumen (I come from a family of entrepreneurs), the help of suppliers, educational programs and of course reading as much as I could in our industry publications.

Mastermind Group an Invaluable Resource

A few years ago, I joined a Mastermind group made up of fellow business owners from around the country. I am amazed at how much I have gotten from this group. Each time we meet (via phone twice a month) I walk away with an insight, a new idea, or a new resource. My team looks forward to me having these calls because they know I typically share a great idea or resource with them afterwards.

Today, during our call we were all sharing various ideas we have been trying to jumpstart our businesses because of the COVID-19 slow down. Of course, we have all seen a drop in business to some degree. Some more than others. We worked to help each other to come up with at least one idea that will help us to regain momentum in our businesses. And we each committed to working on it before our next call.

Be a Friendly Competitor

It got me to thinking about sharing. I have many friendly competitors that I see at various events. And I do see them as friendly competitors. There is definitely enough business to go around typically.

However, I realize not everyone thinks that way. Some business owners are selfish. They wouldn’t help a competitor, ever.

I’ve seen some competitors at supplier shows at various companies for years and I feel them sneering at me from across the room. Why? What have I ever done to them?

Admittedly we have probably taken business away from them. Definitely not out of malice, but if they were providing the service or ideas their clients were looking for, we never would have had a chance. Don’t blame me if you got lazy about working for your clients.

What are WE Learning About Our Businesses?

It was one of the areas we discussed in our group meeting today. Have we gotten lazy in dealing with our day-to-day clients? Did this crisis show us where we have been failing? What can we do differently in the future to help our businesses remain strong?

Although I have diversified quite extensively over the years, I discovered that we need to be even more diversified. We have too many companies that have been adversely affected by COVID-19. Some are closed, others are cutting budgets drastically while others are in a wait and see mode. Just a few of our clients are responding to our outreach for projects.

What More Could We be Doing?

From the start, we didn’t stop our outreach and we’ve been fortunate to gain 5 new clients in the last few weeks. These are primarily clients that were looking for PPE’s but we do hope to keep them well after that need ends.

We are also going after different markets. We’ve recently received our local certification for SBE and WBE (small business enterprise and woman business enterprise) to qualify for contracts with our local school district. We are also reaching out to our many local municipalities. And it’s worked, we’ve picked up a couple already.

And I got the idea from a member in our mastermind group.

Two of our mastermind group have recently hired new sales reps that had seen their support teams let go during the crisis. They felt the company they were working with didn’t have their best interest at heart for their long-term sales success. So, they responded to inquiries about new opportunities.

In addition, each of us in the mastermind group are updating and revamping our websites. I’m adding new programs to our product line that should further our diversification efforts.

Be Willing to Share

Having my mastermind group to explore ideas with has been very helpful. Having a group of people that are willing share everything about their business may be unheard-of but has been so very invaluable to me. Especially now.

Sharing will only make our industry stronger, more creative and more diverse so we all thrive in the long term.  So, don’t hesitate to reach out or respond when someone is looking for help. You may receive way more back in return.

Danette Gossett is the founder of Gossett Marketing, co-founder of Promotions Rescource LLC and co-author of the best-selling book “Transform” with Brian Tracy. Danette utilizes her more than 30 years of advertising agency and corporate marketing experience to develop effective promotional campaigns and products for her clients. Visit GossettMktg.com or SalesPromo.org and follow us on twitter @MarketngTidbits. 

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