One man’s crisis is another man’s opportunity.
We’re all familiar with this concept.
Mold remediation companies, bankruptcy firms and oil spill contractors all depend on others’ setbacks for their livelihoods.
The crisis-opportunity dynamic is woven into the fabric of their businesses. Yet, few who need their services think to themselves: “this opportunist is profiting from my misfortune.”
This dynamic will be with us for as long as man inhabits this spinning rock.
How about those of us who are entrepreneurs, marketers and consultants?
These days, most of us are concentrating on shoring up our own businesses while preparing for the next round of thunderclaps in the financial markets. Yet, however we feel about it, the crisis-opportunity force strengthens by the day, like a hurricane over open water.
The Two-Word Question That Reveals Everything
Take this test.
The next store, shop or restaurant you’re in, ask the owner or manager this simple two-word question.
If you’re in a hurry, you’ll need to prepare your exit because he or she may give you a fifteen minute (or longer) answer.
All their anxieties, all their worries come poring out. Many times, they’ll reveal their deepest, darkest snake pits that are keeping them awake nights.
That’s because, almost no one ever asks them this question and most of them are more worried now than they’ve ever been in their business lives.
In June, I wrote about why small business consulting is a golden opportunity in 2008.
At the time, few could forecast the degree of upheaval that would happen in four short months. One who did was Clayton Makepeace, one of the smartest minds in the Smoky Mountains. (Hey, Clayton, why don’t you ditch the biker garb for a few months and run for Senator. You might give your party a fighting chance, as well as put a decent and skilled person in Washington.)
Today, there’s no need for anything so elaborate in the marketing consulting game.
Anyone who’d like to open the money spigots, while rescuing local businesses from certain extinction need do only five things.
- Get them talking. “How’s business” is often sufficient.
- Convey your expertise. In my case, I mention my experience helping collapsing businesses at Ground Zero, Post-9/11.
- Convey how busy YOU are. From the moment I get a whiff that a prospect wants a consult, I let them know I’m terribly busy, which I am. We all want what we can’t have, as well as what others want, and this is a key nuance.
- Qualify their readiness.
- Qualify their ability to pay.
That’s it in a nutshell.
Nothing sharpens the senses better than fear and right now, it’s all around us.
The same fear can translate into a lot of money in your pocket, if place yourself in a position to help the local businesses all around you.