The Economy is Slowing Down,
Where Do You Need to Speed Up?
In a recession money gets tighter. Decision making slows down and upper management becomes tentative. New programs or initiatives get put on the back burner. Price negotiations become more frequent. Savvy managers look at recession as an opportunity to cut wastes and streamline processes. Practice the following to gain business during these trying times
1) Go on the offensive. Believe that you will make the sale and you will benefit the customer. Approach with a positive, professional, well – planned strategy and look for ways to genuinely help your client by way of increased sales or cost savings.
2) Look for ways to trim the expenses from your budget. Eliminate unnecessary travel. Change from client lunches to client coffees, and look for any ways you can to reduce costs. The leaner and stronger financially you are during the recession the better able you are to survive it.
3) Sharpen your marketing. It may add additional costs but an aggressive marketing approach is critical in a time when competition is stiff. Marketing is not an area where you should cut costs. This is a time to put your best image forward.
4) Collaborate with your customers. Smart companies reach out to their customers for innovative ideas. Invite them into your decision making and gather suggestions on how to work more efficiently and effectively. You will find that they feel valued and included which may build a stronger bond. In feeling like a “partner” they will want to see you succeed.
5) Spend more time selling. Yes more time is needed during tougher times so put your energies into your sales. This is not the time relax but to engage even more.
6) Retrain your sales team. Companies often think that training should be one of those items cut during a recession when in fact training should have more focus than ever. In tough times sales people need all the tools and support available for them to succeed. You need to help your sales people understand how to prioritize their opportunities and stay motivated. Help them with their product information for up – selling and cross – selling to existing customers. “Mind the gold!” of your existing customer base and see what areas are able to be expanded. Invest in outside training. This is a very wise investment to provide your front line force all the tools and confidence it needs.
7) Be a coach! In tough times your sales people need more time, attention and support than ever. Be sure to provide individual one on one coaching and mentoring. They need to feel as if they are valued understood and appreciated. Selling can be a lonely job and it is a smart business owner that invests time in their people to continue to show their value and appreciation in them.
Here’s to your success!
Call Lynn at 360 319-6776 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
She will gladly help you with your sales success through individual sales coaching, classroom training or custom designed programs.
* Featured Book of the Month*
*Featured Book *
The Experience Economy
by Joseph Pine, James Gilmore
Sometime during the last 30 years, the service economy emerged as the dominant engine of economic activity. At first, critics who were uncomfortable with the intangible nature of services bemoaned the decline of the goods-based economy, which, thanks to many factors, had increasingly become commoditized. Successful companies, such as Nordstrom, Starbucks, Saturn, and IBM, discovered that the best way to differentiate one product from another--clothes, food, cars, computers--was to add service.
But, according to Joseph Pine and James Gilmore, the bar of economic offerings is being raised again. In The Experience Economy, the authors argue that the service economy is about to be superseded with something that critics will find even more ephemeral (and controversial) than services ever were: experiences. In part because of technology and the increasing expectations of consumers, services today are starting to look like commodities. The authors write that "Those businesses that relegate themselves to the diminishing world of goods and services will be rendered irrelevant. To avoid this fate, you must learn to stage a rich, compelling experience."
Many will find the idea of staging experiences as a requirement for business survival far-fetched. However, the authors make a compelling case, and consider successful companies that are already packaging their offerings as experiences, from Disney to AOL. Far-reaching and thought-provoking, The Experience Economy is for marketing professionals and anyone looking to gain a fresh perspective on what business landscape might look like in the years to come. Recommended. --Harry C. Edwards
Get it on Amazon.com
TODAY'S ACTION PLAN
Building relationships takes time and consistency. Proactively look for ways to initiate contact with customers and prospects so they think of you and your company first!