The Marketplace of Fear, Patrick T. Malone

Much of today’s marketplace malaise is being blamed directly on fear. The fear of the unknown, the fear of new taxes, the fear of new regulations, etc. all have been cited as causes for the continuing worst economic period since the Great Depression.

Real or imagined this fear has caused a paralysis in our business communities and delayed the inevitable recovery. Realistically many of the causes of this fear are out of our control but that is no reason for us to give up trying to grow our businesses and help others grow theirs.

The big problem is that most of the decision-makers and/or leaders across today’s business spectrum have only known growth and prosperity. The last period of real economic difficulty occurred in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

While the challenges may be greater now than in the previous years of prosperity and growth, it may simply be a matter of retooling your message. The marketing messages of the last 20+ years now cause fear and paralysis.

How many of you continue to believe that “flipping” real estate is the road to wealth?

What’s your reaction to the myriad of multi-level marketing schemes being promoted on late night TV?

So if fear is the issue, how can your product or service mitigate or eliminate the fear for your prospective clients and customers. These are the appropriate new strategies for a difficult economy and they are only limited by your creativity. Consider the following situations.

A generic strategy might involve shared risk. Let’s say you are in the promotional products business and one of your prospects has an upcoming trade show and you believe your promo products would help them write more orders at the show. Would you be willing to provide your promo items at your cost for a percentage of all the business they write at the show? Putting your skin in the game would demonstrate your confidence that you can help them be more successful.

Another generic strategy for managing fear might be a test or trial. You’re building a membership fee leads group but many of your prospects are uncomfortable committing to a full year’s membership. Would you be willing to offer a 90 day membership at a token fee to prospects who need proof that there would be a good return on their annual membership fee investment? At the very best your confidence in offering that may be the impetus to inspire their commitment to a full year’s membership or at the very least to a commitment to the 90 day trial.

There is fear in the marketplace today but I am convinced you can take that fear and make it work for you, your customers and your business. Try it, find out for yourself and then you decide on the best approach to make fear work for you.

Patrick T. Malone
Blairsville, GA 30512
770 493 7188 Atlanta office
706 835 1308 Blairsville office
404 630 7504 mobile

Patrick (14 Posts)