When the work’s done, don’t just rest on your laurels

These days, everyone is busy, busy, busy. During Labor Day weekend, I saw multiple family members and friends sending work emails from their smart-phones in an effort to get a jump on the work day. They were making sure everyone had the latest project updates and keeping people in the loop. “It’s busy season,” a friend who works in the construction field said. With work temporarily completed, that person sat down to relax with a huge glass of water and some fruit salad.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of parallels to B2B marketing in that quick story. Every industry has a time of year where the work seems to pile on in droves. Owners, executives and employees alike scramble to make sure everyone knows what’s happening and complete their projects. Industry-specific busy seasons include spring for accounting firms and summer for anyone in architecture, engineering or construction. When I call prospects, it often seems like every time is crunch time. The response I get from each one is virtually the same: “We’re swamped; call me in three months when things calm down.”

During these times, people arrive early, stay late and work their fingers to the bone in between, solving the most difficult challenges they’ll face all year. They know every project inside, outside and upside down. Once that work leaves their desks, though, people tend to make a critical mistake: They rest on their laurels. Just like my friend with her fruit salad and water, most of us just want to take it easy after pushing through a big assignment or busy period at work. But instead of patting themselves on the back, firms and their marketing departments ought to recognize a situation where the stars have perfectly aligned for them:

  • Every detail of every project is fresh in your mind
  • You have great stories to tell about work you’ve recently completed
  • You’re likely to have an influx of cash in a (let’s face it) troubled economy

It really is a unique chance to highlight how you’ve overcome a series of obstacles and provided value at the moment you’re more likely than ever to have some extra cash.  The decision to push yourself and start a new project right after things finally calm down may not be a popular one, but it will ultimately benefit you and your company. Have you ever pushed through the pain at the end of a particularly busy time of the year? Let us know in the comments.

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