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15 Business Development Tactics In Challenging Times
Besides being discouraged by a slow down, it is easy for rainmakers to fall into wishful thinking and keep doing things they were doing in boom times. With a slowdown clients and prospects are cautious and thinking long and hard about each investment and rainmakers must help them with the challenges. Here are 15 tactics for challenging times:
- Revamp your prospecting plans. Identify each good prospect and began to stay in touch with them by direct mail, opt in email or through industry associations. Be serious, competent and available.
- Let your clients know how you can help them but dont bury them under heavy handed sales material.
- A rainmaker who keeps visible during tough times can outperform competition that is likely to hunker down and wait for the storm to pass.
- Listen carefully and dont sell your clients canned programs. Understand what would help them the most and use your expertise to solve their problems. Take any fluff out of your proposals show them ways you can help them weather the storm and/or be stronger when it passes.
- Even with old established clients stress value. When times get challenging a client will become angry with you if a competitor offers value that you have neglected, through complacence, to offer. Point out to them where the value is.
- Keep up with your correspondence promptly. Set a goal for yourself to return calls, emails or other inquiries within a certain time and do it!
- Keep up with your business reading and know what it is happening on the economic scene. Your clients will appreciate your keeping them informed about relevant trends in the economy which may affect their business.
- Keep yourself alert to ways your clients can reduce costs. Be sure to give them every idea they might be able to use. Dont charge for this. Be your clients ally.
- Revamp your schedule. Make sure you are organized and increasing the contact time you have with clients as well as program/product/service development time. If your schedule has not changed, you are sure to be missing opportunities.
- Be scrupulously honest. While this is always critical, your clients are under additional stress at this time. Even the appearance of less than total honesty can make them edgy. They want to rely on you and your services and in tough times you have to be beyond trustworthy.
- Maximize the value of time you spend together. Dont waste your clients time or yours but do be available to spend social time building a better relationship if your client indicates they are interested in this. Keep awake to your clients needs and support them in every way you can.
- Straight talk is the best strategy when margins are shrinking. Hype and hyperbole are really out of place when stress levels rise. Your clients will appreciate thoughtful professional solutions.
- Be patient. Be patient. Be patient. When thousands or millions of dollars are on the line, clients get edgy. Use your excellent communication skills and diffuse stress where you can.
- Over promising is never a good strategy but in a weak economy it can ruin your reputation. Mealy excuses after the fact never put you in a good position.
- Yesterdays over. Rethink your strategies and forget about resting on yesterdays triumphs. Go for the future with new strategies and determination.
In challenging times, selling is tougher than ever. To be successful, to buck the trends, we need to make use of every resource we can. These 15 tactics can be useful in making the most of a difficult economic environment.
Much performance & profitability success,
A savvy company thrives in tough economic times
- Sharon Youngblood
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