Since 1955, there have been 12 recessions…
The facts are indisputable: those companies that outsell, out market, out-train, out-innovate, and out-hustle
their competition emerges from the downturn in a stronger position than others.
Tough economic times might bring great opportunities for you who has a small business.
Two companies were selling stencil machines used in the sign-making business.
Due to market conditions, the larger company significantly reduced the number of visits the salespeople
could make to current and new customers.
The CEO of the smaller company thought this was an amazing opportunity for its company.
He conducted a meeting with his sales force and offered to increase commissions for every new customer they took from the bigger competitor, one-time bonuses for every sale closed on a Saturday, and he added money to the travel budget as long as it was spent on meetings with customers.
They reached out to every possible customer promising better customer service and offering repairs on machines that
the big competitor sold.
Go for the business when the other companies are giving up on the business.
Recognize the Third Shift
There are many employees such as those working at the third shift; customer service; repair people… who are an important part of every company.
Great managers recognize these people and give them credit for their work. Every contributor counts.
Keep an Eye for Available Talents
You need to constantly keep an eye on to best people working for your competitors.
Mergers and acquisitions can often fire talents. Sometimes they cut personnel with an axe, not a scalpel,
putting good people on the street.
And these people will be frustrated by the lack of appreciation and it will be easier for you to convince them to work for you. It’s a great opportunity for you to strengthen your team and if the economy is really weak, you can hire these talented people for less money than in good times.
Sell, Sell, Sell
You need to be fanatical about selling. Without selling there is nothing.
You need to be concentrated in sales, marketing, customer service, and in jobs associated with conceiving and commercializing innovation.
Be careful about not firing true salespeople. Often companies fire salespeople for the wrong reasons such as:
Not knowing perfectly the product
Not getting along with the team
Not attending important meetings
Submitting sloppy reports
Being a prima donna
Too much complaining
These and many other unimportant reasons are not enough to fire a salesperson who closes the deals.
On the other hand, it’s not worth keeping a salesman who has a very low closing rate just because “customers love him”.
Provide A Great Customer Service
If you have bad customer service then your competitors are going to crush you.
Good customer service helps you make more sales because it generates positive word-of-mouth
advertising, it reduces costs and it increases profits.
No Home Office
Using the home as an office is not efficient because there are many distractions.
No matter how disciplined you are, the distractions will eat up your time.
As soon as you can afford an office outside your home, get one.
Going to the office means getting up in the morning, getting ready, and going to work.
It is discipline.
It is the opposite of rolling out of bed and sitting in front of your computer in your pajamas.