Do you remember when Toyota was having some issues with the Prius? I don’t know for sure how many problems people had with their cars before the media eventually broke the story, but I would venture to say it was a fairly large number.
Toyota made the decision to be reactive in this situation.
Here’s what I know about manufacturing as a whole. If there is a problem they always work to keep it quiet. They don’t want to have to fix something unless someone complains about. I believe this decision is partly driven by someone in the finance department.
This is a reactive approach to dealing with problems. The bad press that Toyota has received because of this has had a large financial impact on Toyota’s sales. The short term reactive approach to save some money is going to have a longer term impact in their sales.
If you were the CEO of Toyota and you were the proactive type of person you could have chosen a different path, the proactive path. To be proactive as the CEO of Toyota could have been as simple as informing all Prius owners of the potential problem. This proactive step alone would have created good will with the existing customer base.
Years ago when there was the scare with Tylenol being tampered with, the company did not hesitate to take all of the product off shelves. Yes there was short term financial pain, but nothing compared to what could have happened if they did not take this proactive step.
Where can you be proactive?
Since my area of expertise is marketing and sales, that’s where I will focus for you. Proactive marketing is all about designing your marketing system to help your target audience get to know and like you. This means you want to start becoming relevant in the life of your target audience.
What kind of information could you share with your target audience that would make them want to know more? How much information should you share with them to get them to like you enough to sit down together and decide if it makes sense to do business together?
Being proactive in your marketing means that you invest time in creating the types of materials that can educate your prospects why they need you in their lives. You can be proactive in writing articles, doing blog posts, being a guest blogger, participating in forums, sending email, etc.
Being proactive means that you take the time to put together a marketing plan that consists of a marketing calendar and a real budget. Being proactive takes time, effort, and sometimes money on your part. Being proactive in your marketing is often a challenge for you as a small business owner.
It takes discipline to be proactive, because being reactive is so much easier?.in the short term.
What is a reactive approach?
Being reactive is when you wait for your client to call you when they need something. Reactive is all about sitting back and using the “Hope & Pray” method as your strategy to get new business. Reactive is doing the same old marketing and sales activities with the hope you can get better results. Reactive is letting your sales team decide if they want to get training to improve their selling skills. Reactive is hoping the government fixes the economy to improve your sales.
The most important point to acknowledge with a reactive mindset is having a victim mentality about your business. You’re a victim of your prospects, your clients, the economy, the committee, your employees, you name it, you’re a victim.
I call B.S. on this mindset and being a victim in the first place. I know for a fact that the chances of you having a victim mentality are almost zero. You’re the kind of person who is reading articles and looking for ways to improve your business and yourself. You have no victim mentality, congrats!
How do you stay proactive?
I have just one word for you on this, “Goals.” Goals will keep you proactive. Goals allow you to schedule your priorities, and move towards a specific target. Goals are the secret to being proactive.
Now you have to have meaningful goals. A goal as simple as to eat lunch is not going to make you proactive, except for lunch. If you want a simple and effective form to follow for your goals to be meaningful, shoot me an email and I will send it to you.
Now go forth and conquer!