Riding High on the Economic Wave

February 1, 2004
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Six tips to help companies make a comeback with the economy



After two years of despair and some historic economic lows, the marketplace is bustling again. Confidence is up and both employees and employers have regained hope. There are several ways to get a running start to ensure a company's success. Following are six simple tips to get your team motivated and prepared to make some major sales right away.

Keep in Touch with Client Issues and Trends

A great way to jump back into sales is to start contacting your current client base to find out what's going on, what's new in their industry and what their needs are now. A few months ago, your prospect list may have said they were not ready, but now that the economy is moving steadily they may be interested again. This is also a great way to find out about trends and issues in their market.

Network Your Way to the Top

Everyone knows they are supposed to network, but very few people actually take the time to do it right. It is an inexpensive and easy way to get into spaces you may not otherwise have access to. Don't think of it as spreading your business card all over the world; instead, consider joining a very focused group that speaks directly to the area you are interested in, and make sure you follow up with all of your contacts. Networking groups are no longer far-reaching; now they are subcategorized, making it much easier to isolate your target. By joining one organization that deals specifically in your business focus area, you can keep abreast of that industry's practices, build business allies, and join another group to find new customers.

When you are on top of what's new and innovative in your products' core competency, you bring value to your clients.

Crack the Code That Lets You into Fortune 100 Companies

Now is the perfect time to look for Codebreakers - sales people at the top of their game who have established clientele with Fortune 100 companies. They may not have wanted to talk when the economy was bad, but might be interested now. Create alliances with these busy people and show them how your products can support theirs, such as by offering to get them into your best accounts if they can get you into theirs. This is the fastest way to close a million-dollar sale.

Research Your Markets, Products and Services

A day at the library or your local bookstore is priceless. These are great places to read up on news in the markets and industries. Look for new technologies, products and services that have been developed in the last six months to see how your products or services can fit into or build on those. Anything new that you can bring to the customer has value for them. Keeping up with local and national news - as well as new technologies, products, or services - can make a big difference in how your company markets its own products and services.

Research Your Clients, Associates and Competition

Hit the ground running by doing homework on what's happening in your business arena. If you have a specific target base (named accounts), research their plans from before the economic slowdown. Because the economy is improving, they may now be starting programs that were on hold for the last two years. The Internet is a great place to find this information. Visit their website and their competitors/associates' websites. Look at press releases to see what's going on in their world and how your company might fit into their plans. Pay particular attention to what their competition is doing - this will be a good indicator of what your clients are gearing up to do.

Don't Stop Moving

As the economy picks up, businesses are going to be ready to spend money. Your team should be the first one they meet with. Get your team trained in new markets so your company can get started right away. If there isn't enough time, create alliances with trained sales forces that can get in while the getting is good.

Now is the time to put plans into action and get your company on solid footing again. As the market improves, employees and sales teams become more positive about their jobs and their situations. Put that confidence and optimism to work for you by sending them into the field to bring back some of that good news for your company. These six tips will give them the tools they need to be successful and keep their confidence high.

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