*Editor’s note: This article was written around 2009 but the list of 10.5 things you need to do as the economy begins to rebound is still pertinent today.
Are things getting (slightly) better?
Are your sales (finally) on the increase?
It seems as though there’s a slight sales surge going on, but no one’s talking about it much — probably because no one wants to jinx it.
The economy is still very fragile, the world is even more fragile, and with elections taking focus, politicians of all sorts are finally realizing that jobs and small businesses are the priority. That only took three years.
I believe there’s going to be at least two years of feast — that there will finally be some semblance of economic recovery for those affected. (It’s important to note that many businesses have thrived through these times.)
QUESTION: Will you get your fair share of this economic surge? ANSWER: Only if you’re ready. One notch more ready than your competition.
REALITY: Most companies (maybe you) cut everything and everyone. Time to get a new mental outlook for what’s ahead.
CHALLENGE: What are you doing to prepare for the years ahead so that you can take full advantage of the sales surge?
Here are the 10.5 things you need to do as the economy begins to rebound:
1. Make certain everyone’s attitude has shifted to positive. Not just salespeople. Everyone. If you make a big sale and the customer calls for help and gets a grump in accounting or shipping, you lose.
2. Maintain pricing to the best of your ability, even if your competitors discount. Price pressure has lowered your profit for the past three years. Enough! Get back to profitability. Anyone who continues to bow to price pressures in these next two years the way they did in the past two years is a fool. As a seller’s market finally emerges, it’s time to hold price and let quality and service shine, let delivery and availability shine, and let value and relationship shine.
3. Be prepared to tell the customer what you can do, not what you can’t do. It’s a new day. People are calling — they want to buy and need help. Say yes!
4. Train everyone to be able to answer every question from a customer. The new world is immediate. Make certain that everyone can help whoever calls.
5. Be service ready not just sales ready. Starting with a YES! Attitude, make certain all employees who talk to customers are both friendly and helpful.
6. Use the words “thank you” when an order is received and after an ordered is delivered. And deliver them with sincerity.
7. Become active in all aspects of business social media to communicate customer value not just your sales offerings. Give your customers a chance to talk to you on Facebook. Make certain you link with important people on LinkedIn. Share short value messages with your network on Twitter. Post testimonial, training, and other noteworthy videos on YouTube. Social media for business is no longer an option. Buy and read my new book Social BOOM!
8. Create your weekly email magazine that has even more value messages. Proactively send it to every customer.
9. Make certain that upper management has complete buy-in, and gives support both verbally and monetarily to what will amount to a culture shift. Make more certain that a video communication of their buy-in is distributed to everyone.
10. Employ new technology in everything, especially sales. Create mobile apps and faster ways for people to buy from you. Make it easier to do business with you. 24/7 is not an option. It’s your new hours. 24-7-365 is the new 9-5. Just because your office or store is closed doesn’t mean the customer will wait for you to open before purchasing.
10.5 This sales surge is all about YOU, not about your company. It’s about your attitude, your ability to serve, your knowledge, your technology, and your ability to express yourself in a positive, engaging way.
Whatever you do to get ready, do not go “back to the basics.” They are dead and gone. Move ahead to going virtual, business social media, service that rocks, and sincere appreciation for business. Move ahead to relationships, value, and loyalty.
The sales surge is coming and you’re either on a surfboard riding the wave, or waiting for your boss to buy you one. Don’t wait! The wave may be shorter than you think.