The U.S. economy is in a funk. Have your phones stopped ringing yet? The “R” word-recession-is back. Housing starts are falling, the consumer price index keeps jumping, the stock market is like a roller coaster, massive layoffs occur daily, and renowned companies are declaring bankruptcy. The Fed has lowered its projection for economic growth. Is it 2001 all over again?
How do you tackle economic uncertainty? Cut advertising, travel, training, marketing, and discretionary expense line items? Cut purchasing? Ouch! The pipeline starts to dry up and the anxiety level goes through the roof. Many people think that since there’s nothing they can do, they should just do nothing. But “nothing” is futile thinking.
Your Time, Your Money, Your Decision
What if you could reach your market without hard costs-no marketing budget, no direct mail budget, no advertising budget, no trade show budget. The only budget you need to worry about is your “Time & Referrals” budget-simply your time…your time to ask for referrals!
You know about referrals. When a qualified prospect is referred to us, we get a new client a minimum of 50 percent of the time and typically between 70 and 90 percent of the time. Additionally, we are pre-sold, our selling time decreases, we have credibility, and we ace out the competition. There is no other business-development process that can claim these results. Results are the only thing that matters.
5 Killer Steps
Here are five “Killer Steps” to accelerate your sales in a lagging economy, retain your loyal customers, and attract new business without increasing your cost of sales.
1. Broaden Your Business Perspective
What business are you in? Redefine and reinvent yourself. Is Starbuck’s in the coffee business or the people business? Build new alliances and consider alternate distribution channels. Don’t go solo. Assemble a group of advisors and get their input and creative ideas.
2. Make Your Business Nimble and Innovative
You’ll never have all the facts. Make quick decisions. Be fearless and make tough choices. Create new uses for your products. Why not a new business model?
3. Dazzle Your Current Customers
Your current customers need care and feeding. Don’t ignore them at the expense of new business, because they are your best source for new business.
4. Prioritize for More Sales
The most important activity for any sales professional is to do what’s “closest to cash” the first thing every single day-whether it’s following up with a prospect, writing a proposal, or closing a sales deal.
5. Become an Expert
Companies hire experts because they can’t afford to make mistakes. Position your company as the expert with a specific product or in a specific market niche.
The Bottom Line
Sell more with higher margins, accelerate your “win” ratio, and take business away from the competition.