At times of great turmoil, a natural response is to seek protection and security. We scrutinize our decisions, reevaluate our options and sometimes alter our practices to minimize risks in the face of uncertainty. It’s an entirely understandable reaction to events that are outside our control.
The way I see it, though, is that finding a safe place to ride out the storm may actually put us at greater risk. The desire to prevent bad things from happening also limits the chances that good things will occur.
If you ask your customers – your most important customers – how they want you to react to the current economic environment, you’re likely to hear something like “We need you now more than ever…” Behind that statement is a not-so-subtle request to stand by them in difficult times.
These are the times when the best suppliers step up to help their customers. These are the times when buyers gravitate to those providers that put the customer needs ahead of their own. These are the times when trust is earned and loyalty won. These are the times to listen.
So, go ahead – make the prudent choices about where to spend your time and your money. It’s the right thing to do. But also know that your customers want you to keep listening. Now, more than ever.
Eric Engwall, Managing Partner