6 survival tactics for the new economy

1. Downsizing is permanent state
It’s no longer goal, it’s become permanent business procedure that’s driven by the confluence of global competition and the increasing automation. Since both these conditions will persist, downsizing will continue as corporate business strategy. However, as the saying goes, the flip side of crisis can be an opportunity, and downsizing opportunities include range of outsourcing and consulting opportunities.

2. There’s finite pool of customers
As the value of individual customers is appreciated, there will be less cold calling, less telemarketing and fewer high-pressure tactics. This means bringing the organisation as close as possible to customers and reinforcing customer value.

3. Time is your most valuable asset
There’s growing fortress mentality about the office and the home. Access is more and more limited and controlled. Every home has an answering machine, and voice mail offers invasion-free conditions. The new opportunities will focus on attention-getting techniques, ways to get the message through the seemingly impenetrable cocoons protecting today’s customers.

4. Knowledge is the ultimate in customer service
The definition of quality customer service is changing. Everyone assumes customer service means getting the correct order, delivered on time and any problems will be taken care of quickly. Customer service has another add on. The most important way to keep today’s customer is to offer them knowledge or be business resource. Using knowledge to assist the customer is the best way to separate you from the competition. Using knowledge offers the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

5. Motivate the prospect, not the salesperson
To increase salesperson’s productivity, satisfaction and income, the task of motivation needs to be redirected. Traditional thinking centred on ways to “juice up” the salesforce. Everything from contests, to trips and awards has been used to get salespeople to push harder, make more calls and close more deals. On top of that customers are showing an increasing reluctance to see salespeople, they have less time for presentations and are far better informed.
To maximise salesperson’s effectiveness, develop qualified leads, rather than expecting the salesforce to do that job. Sales-people become highly motivated when they have prospects. Leads are the primary motivation for successful selling.

6. Manage prospects better
Most lost sales fall through the cracks. It isn’t the salesperson’s ineptness or even laziness that causes the problems, it’s the inability to manage prospects successfully.
Salespeople know who they’re going to see tomorrow and the next week. But what about the followup on last week’s calls or those made 45 days ago, or even year ago. Since those actively selling focus on the “hot” prospects, everyone else is pushed aside. And this is where the competition manages to get the business. Staying in touch is the key; and this needs system for constant followup.

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