The Economy is in the tank, your sales stink, so now what?

Filed Under (OP News & Views) by Don on 02-02-2009

Granted that the current economic situation is difficult for anyone in sales, now is not the time to throw in the proverbial towel.  First task at hand is to double your customer service efforts.  More than ever you need to let your customers know that you understand the challenges they face and that you are ready and able to help identify ways to help them contain their costs.  Now is not the time to cut service or delivery to your customers.  Present ideas such as single sourcing which is proven to save soft costs, or the costs the client incurs in the process of placing an order for products for their business.  This is a prime opportunity for a business review to see where you can benefit your client. Remanufactured toners or product substitutions (Item sub program) could be a good place to start. You may consider adding new services such as a beverage service or a print management solution.

 

Take the time to create a battle plan for acquiring new business.  Keep yourself fluid and stay quick on your feet to you can act on opportunities and not re-act when it’s too late.  Perhaps your niche market is too narrow in focus or maybe you need to expand your territory into new markets.  Think about your communications to your current clients and how they can be improved.  Businesses are bargain shopping and want good deals so look at ways you can meet those expectations. Get your customer service agents involved by having them contact stale accounts and make them a part of the process.

 

Lastly, meet regularly with your sales people and your staff and keep them informed of where business stands and your current goals.  Make your team accountable for their performance and responsibilities but give them the latitude to make decisions without micro-managing them.  Remember to show appreciation every day to your team.  Even though you may be the manager or the owner and have enough worries to go around, your staff is also worried about their families and their jobs.  Now is not the time for knee-jerk reactions but the time for good planning and thorough analysis of what is needed to keep your business sustainable and growing.  

 

The last word: 

“Your biggest break can come from never quitting. Being at the right place at the right time can only happen when you keep moving toward the next opportunity.”

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