The Project is delayed….

As we hit July and the 2nd half of the year, budget cuts and spending freezes are taking hold. There are 2 ways to handle this challenge explains B4 Platinum Member, James White.

I started to see signs of these issues early in the year and I wondered if it was a blip. But it’s happening too often now to be a blip. When bigger businesses get a sniffle then smaller ones tend to get a full cold and they are the ripple effects of budget changes.  A friend who has a GIANT consumer goods company told me yesterday his project was on hold for the time being. No timeline was given, just that ‘budgets were being reviewed’

Driving growth right now in 2024 is a challenge for many. Excuses are common. 

Solve these by creating value in your market. Become a company of interest. A company that creates and shares value. Make content that stands out. Do research that builds interest. Showcase the talents of knowledgeable people in a consistent way. Price and budgets are never the issue. It’s just that your market didn’t value it enough.

And take action. Take regular action. Be bold. Be on the front foot. Get on the phone. Have conversations. Speak with existing customers. Do more. Ask for 5 to 10% more from your teams. Doing the little bit of extra now won’t pay off straight away but when done over 30, 60 and 90-day periods it will have an effect. Build skills. Develop emotional intelligence within your teams so that they don’t have happy ears but can REALLY get inside the minds of customers and prospects to know what is driving them.

It’s tough and it will stay that way for a few months yet but you have a choice. Which option will you choose?

First up to respond is B4’s CEO, Richard Rosser. “This is the first in a regular series of articles doing exactly what James recommends – showcasing the talents of knowledgeable people in a consistent way. We are fortunate in the B4 community that our greatest asset is the expertise of our wide and varied community of members who are willing to share that expertise with each other and the wider business community – that is definitely of huge value. It’s a great way for us to build interest and reinforce our position as a company of interest which attracts like-minded individuals and companies who want to do the same. It’s a virtuous circle and there’s never been a better time to be part of a collaborative, sharing community when we are all increasingly stifled by so much uncertainty in the world.”

Peter Swanson, Managing Director of Intertronics, added. “In our markets, we have seen a bit of a slow down since late last year; all our peers, suppliers and competitors have been seeing the same thing. I don’t know what is causing it, but “the project is delayed…” is not an unusual response. Our pipeline continues to grow, but few have been pressing the purchase order button. Elections, inflation, interest rates, wars, supply chain uncertainty and general geopolitical anxiety are contributors, certainly. If only one could predict market movements with certainty… or elections <grin>.

“My view is that if you have a sound and tested strategic marketing plan (in simple terms: who, what and how much) and are executing against that with understanding and competence, then just keep on keeping on. Blips and cycles happen, and as long as you are addressing a market that is growing in the longer term (or at least stable), results will follow. Asking more effort from your teams is inevitably only a short-term fix. Please teach them to work smarter, not harder. And trust the process. By pursuing our existing sales and marketing plans, we have been rewarded with stunning business results in June, and with more in the pipeline to boot. I hope our little slow down is over, at least until the next one.

“The exception to this would be if this blip is not a blip, but a fundamental change to the market. Are your customers saying, “we have budget restraints” or are they saying, “we don’t buy that stuff anymore”. Don’t have a Kodak moment (or Thomas Cook, Blockbuster, Woolworths, Nokia). This is a different problem, for another time.”

“Building and maintaining good relationships with both clients and supply chain is key to getting through these tough times. I agree that spending a bit of extra time sharing knowledge and strengthening the value of your company will pay off in the long run.” Emma Allinson, Business Development Manager, Kingerlee.

“Appealing to a client’s objective for growth in market share at times like this can often unlock investment I’ve found.” Caroline O’Connor, Owner, Fourth Born.

“This really resonates with me. Adding value is crucial in challenging times. Despite delays and budget reviews, the emphasis on consistent action and developing emotional intelligence within teams is spot-on.” Darren Aston, Managing Director, Aston & James.

“Amen James! Being BRAVE, BOLD and INVALUABLE is fantastic advice. Be the brand people cannot afford to miss out on regardless of the purse strings.” Natalie Jezzard-Bedwell, Sales & Business Development Executive, Global CTS


Would you like more great advice from James White? If so, read on…

Often wonder why that buyer never came back to you on that proposal you were SURE they would agree to.

Been 1000% sure that you gave a brilliant pitch which you felt certain you would win and then were stunned when they chose someone else?

These and other sales challenges are common. They occur daily.

We believed we had it all sewn up but the deal collapsed around us, leaving us confused at what went wrong.


All too often it’s because we haven’t understood what the buyer is REALLY thinking. Or we have misread the wrong action which resulted in us going left when we should have turned right.

Learning to THINK and put yourselves in the shoes of each buyer you come across (and everyone is different) is the most critical skill I believe any person trying to sell can have.

Our job when we sell is to become a Fly on the Wall in their head and when we do this, sales becomes easier and we can get the results we are wanting!

I’m James White and my expertise lies in deciphering the thoughts of your high-value service clients, enabling you to either win their business or save time by swiftly identifying clients that just aren’t right for you.

With over 30 years of experience building my own businesses and supporting service companies, I understand the emotional aspect of selling.

Why should you care about what I am talking about?

I have made mistakes and wear the sales scars but doing so helps me be able to understand more about the buying process and what goes through the buyer’s mind at particular points in the journey.

I don’t want to see business owners make the same mistakes I have done and I care about brilliant business owners getting the results they deserve.

Do you want to know what’s going on inside your buyer’s mind?  If you do then join the hundreds of others and sign up for my weekly newsletter where I decode the tricky puzzle of buyer behaviour.

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