obama1President Obama’s announcement yesterday made some small business people perk up just a bit.

Then they went back to work.

Easing a credit squeeze afflicting small businesses by buying up to $15 billion of securities that are linked to SBA loans is definitely a good thing, but there are a lot of folks in the trenches right now who won’t be affected by this at all.

They are the ones who sell directly to consumers who don’t have much cash on hand.

Consumers are hurting, the businesses that sell to them are hurting and the businesses that sell to businesses are hurting.

It’s a Game of Pain.

If you sell B2B, unless you can truly contribute to cost-saving measures or revenue-generating programs, you need to re-think your offering.

Forget how fun you think your product is, or “how much of a difference” it can make, you need to prove it.

And offer it up to your prospect on a trial basis until it generates real results.

Gulp.

That’s right.  No more upfront fees.  No more shady promises.  No more sounds too good to be true.  If you want to be in businesss this year and next, you have to work with the kind of passion and integrity your kids would be proud of.

work_hard_graphic_2When I meet with small business owners I feel like I am carrying a pick and a shovel.

The shovel moves out all the BS in the room and the pick goes to work to get to the heart of the matter.

Where’s your pain?

What are you hiding?

What don’t you know that is killing your business right now?

Find that and fix it and you can keep their lights on and yours too.

Be value added.

Be a mensch.

Don’t allow yourself to overpromise and underdeliver.

It’s not easy.  It’s hard work.  But it has to be done.

Yesterday, I walked into a client’s office and he showed me a stack of unpaid bills from customers.

He said that he was tapping into savings just to pay his employees and stay afloat.

I had a great CRM program that I wanted him to implement but tossed the presentation aside.

We talked for the next 15 minutes about collections and who I knew that could help him out and then I left.

That generated a little goodwill that will translate into dollars eventually.

It’s going to be more work for less right now.

We just have to get used to it.

It won’t last forever.