Managing through the recession – One Win at a Time

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about my thoughts on what Thornley Fallis and 76design and companies like us should be doing to survive the recession. In that post, I pointed out that retaining existing clients is a critical first step to keeping your business healthy. Now more than ever.

Well, this past weekend, I received some great news. One of our senior account managers had just succeeded in renewing two client relationships. Not only did he renew them. But  he expanded the scope of each one with a modest budget increase.

That’s great news to be receiving. It reflects hard work on the part of the account manager and our team. And it provides evidence that we may be on the right track to not only survive the recession, but to emerge stronger.

Here’s the email that I wrote to the manager. I also copied it to the other managers in the firm.

One win at a time … that’s how we’ll not only survive but thrive in the recession.

I’ve just learned that you are on the verge of getting an additional assignment from [an existing client].

Last month, you won us a renewal and budget increase from [another existing] client.

One win at a time.

It’s also about picking and choosing. Retaining and growing the clients we have is SO much more efficient and effective than the competitive pitch. And if we hang on to all our existing clients, then we can be choosy in the new pitches we do, picking the ones that are blue chip (they will actually pay their bills) and want us because they’ve come to us.

One win at a time.

Keep going in this direction please.

Why am I writing this series of “Managing through the recession” posts? Not to boast about how well we are doing. It’s way to early to be that smug. I hope with these posts to share the lessons I’ve learned through my experience in the last downturn. Hopefully, that will help you and managers in other companies. Of course, I also hope that the people in my own companies will read and consider what I am suggesting.

So far so good.

  • Joe,
    excellent news. Although bad times are a challenge, they’re also an opportunity. Anyone (business) prepared to actually compete (ie. be in business, not just waiting for things to get “back to normal”) stands a good chance of gaining market share and being in a stronger position regardless of what the “new normal” turns out to be.

    It drives me nuts (I’m being *very* polite here 😉 at the number of “managers” and “leaders” who fail to deliver when the business climate get bad, and would rather just hunger down to try to “weather the storm”. If you’re in business, then BE in business!

    cheers,
    Andrew

    PS. I first heard the term “New Normal” by some (enlightened) person following 911. Things rarely go back to “normal”, and you’ll wait a long time if you hope they might.