Archive for the ‘Goal Setting’ Category

Selling and Surviving During an Economic Downturn

Friday, May 27th, 2022

For some business owners, sales can be a challenge during the best of times, but in Q2 of 2021, serving up products and services for a profit is a matter of survival. Current studies report between 800 and 1500 small business closures have occurred daily in the US between February and September of 2020. While Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota says this is “unacceptable” and has carried the mantel of more pandemic relief for small businesses, as Women in Business what can WE do to keep our businesses open and afloat?

One answer is to take a look at the psychology of consumer spending during past recessions to understand how to continue to market and sell now.

According to Harvard researchers John Quelch and Katherine Jocz, customers and clients unnerved by an economic downturn react by placing goods and services they consider purchasing into one of four categories.

Action Step One: Take a look at the list of categories below and determine where your businesses products land.

Essentials. These are items that consumers need to purchase for survival. Goods and services in this category are central to well being. Food, housing, clothing are a few essentials.

Treats. Items that fall into this category are not essential to well being, but they do provide immediate gratification. Consumers can justify their need to have these goods and services now. Beauty and spa services can fall into this category. Restaurants and dining out may be considered treats as well.

Postponables. When belts are tightened, consumers look for purchases which can be postponed. Getting an appliance repaired instead of spending for a new one is an example of a postponable.

Expendables. Goods and services which may be higher ticket items and are perceived as unnecessary and an unjustifiable expense. The purchase of an expendables can be put off indefinitely. During past recessions luxury items and travel fell into this category.

Action Step Two: Your core marketing message needs to shift to “You need this for the long term, for your ‘new normal’.” And with the dream of a new, less chaotic, more predictable lifestyle etched firmly in their heads, consumers and clients will be more likely to purchase items from the postponable and expendable categories.

Action Step Three: Use optimistic, upbeat, positive language to tell the story of how your goods and services will enhance and support the ‘new normal’ lifestyle your clients are creating. If you are selling postponable kitchen cabinets, hook harried customers in by telling them a story on social media with beautiful new cupboards with plenty of effortless space for everything they need to store now and in the future.

Action Step Four: Connection is king! Haven’t heard from a key customer for a while? Pick up the phone and give them a call just to check in and see how they are doing. This is not a sales call, it is a “connecting with you” call. Be positive and upbeat-its not the time to commiserate but it is a time to express gratitude and bring joy into a client’s day. Remember when we used to send and receive cards in the mail? Another effective connection strategy is to send a card just to say “thank you” or “thinking of you”. Writing a personal note has become a lost art which your business can capitalize on to make an impact and stand out from the crowd.

Action Step Five: Reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce to be sure that you are taking advantage of all of the marketing and networking tools available through your continued membership. The staff members are experts at connecting members and services with community resources such as the Small Business Administration.

Action Step Six: As I mention in my “Navigating Personal and Professional Change” presentation, a way to keep your own spirits high is to “Remember-Now is not forever!” Practice gratitude by counting your blessings everyday. And make an effort to do something kind for someone else everyday. Focusing on helping others will help you in more ways than you can possibly imagine.

Cheering you on to success!


©Rita Perea 2021

Time for a Reboot?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

The end of the year is the perfect time to take stock…to ask ourselves the tough questions about what we wanted to accomplish in all areas of our work and personal lives this year, called our “ideal state”, and to authentically look at what we really did achieve, our “current state”.  The end of the year is a great time to discern if there are any gaps between our ideal state and our current state.  If so, it may be time for a reboot.

A reboot begins with honest and careful scrutiny of what is currently working for you and what is not moving the needle to propel you toward your goals.  Do any of these sound familiar: perhaps it’s an unhelpful habit, such as procrastination, that is getting in your way?  Maybe you have bitten off more than you can chew and have gotten involved in too many meetings?  This can cause hectic rushing and an overwhelming feeling that works against clarity and poise.  Or maybe you are stuck in your comfort zone – doing the same things you have always done?  If so, you are probably getting the same results you have always gotten.  Where ever you’re stuck, a reboot can help you get unstuck.

To help you move to your “ideal state’, it might be time to revisit your personal marketing plan to determine the perceptions that others have of you after they interact with you.  This could include many points of contact people have with you, from your voice message and the way that you answer the phone, to the clothes you choose to wear, to the photo you have on your social media accounts.  Every interaction that another person has with you is the opportunity to create a positive impression and enhance your personal branding.

Success expert Stephen Covey believes that with any project we should “Begin with the end in mind”.  A personal reboot should be no different.  As I took stock of my goals at the end of last year, and turned an eye toward celebrating my 15th year of business this year,  I determined that it was time to do a deep dive into updating my own business and executive presence plan.  There was no urgency- I was reaching my goals.  I believed I could achieve more if I focused on aligning my website,, and marketing materials with my long-established branding voice.  The goal being exuding the positives that I am known for – dynamic and inspirational professionalism, expertise and integrity.  Let the reboot begin!

Reboots feel good.  Like the feeling you get when  you have cleaned out a closet or organized the files in your desk.  Sure, all worthwhile endeavors do take a bit of time and effort, but at you end you get that great feeling of being organized, aligned and free of clutter.  Here is my secret sauce for a successful reboot.

Step One: Our first order of business is to determine the three to five authentic words that we want others to use to describe us after they have had an experience with us.  This is called our “personal marketing voice”.  Sometimes it is easier to determine how you want to be described if you also think about how you do not want to be described.  For example: Rita Perea Leadership Coaching and Consulting IS solid, dynamic, inspirational, experienced, high-integrity and professional.  It IS NOT fly-by-night, weak or gimmicky.  You get the idea here.  Contrast is a great informant.

Step Two: Use these words as a lens to look through when making daily choices.  If I have a business meeting to attend and I want people who interact with me at that meeting to describe me as solid, dynamic, inspirational, experienced, high-integrity and professional, then I am going to dress and act in a manner that is congruent with those descriptive words in my personal marketing voice.  Note to self:  if your branding voice is authentic then you will be most comfortable looking like and acting like the descriptive words you have chosen to represent you.

Step Three: The next step of the reboot is the opportunity to integrate every experience point with our personal branding voice to spur others to have a positive perception and to take action.  It is time to take our list of descriptive words and look at every activity we participate in through the lens of those words.  At the end of each interaction we want to ask ourselves “How would that person describe me to others?”  In addition to our website and social media interactions, as mentioned above, these interactions include:

•   Community Involvement

•   Networking opportunities

•   Manners/ etiquette

•   Interactions with co-workers

•   Interactions with clients

•   Making cold calls

•   Making warm calls

•   Speaking in front of a group

•   Involvement in professional organizations/associations

Step Four: Just as we reboot our computer each time we turn it on, every interaction with another person gives us the opportunity to be an honest and reflective practitioner.  We can continually reflect and refine by asking ourselves “How did that go?”;  “What went well?”;  “What did not go so well?”; and “What could I do differently next time to truly live my personal branding voice?”

While a reboot takes honesty, time, effort, and perhaps some monetary resources, your return on investment can be exponential.  You will feel aligned, squeaky clean, shiny and brand new.  What a wonderful way to begin a new year.  Here’s to your success in 2016!

®All rights reserved by Rita Perea Leadership Coaching and Consulting, 2016

Put in the effort and reap the rewards!

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

“Nothing will work unless you do.”
– Maya Angelou

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Selling and Surviving During an Economic Downturn

For some business owners, sales can be a challenge during the best of times, but in Q2 of 2021, serving up products and services for …

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