Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Tough Times Vs Tough People

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  • #963927
    GrantH
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    Hi,

    you’ve probably heard phrases like ‘Tough Times never last, but Tough People Do!’ and ‘When the Going gets Tough, The Tough Get Going’!!

    But the truth is we’re soft.

    Most of us have never known a war (classing a war as en event that requires conscription), we’ve never experienced a financial Depression and thanks to plastic, we’ve never had to deny ourselves the joy of the latest toy or fashion that takes our fancy.

    So how do we go about selling our goods and services when times get tough.

    My take on it is that –

    1) we have to ask our customers why they like us and what would make them like us more, and

    2) We also have to do more networking and marketing (and even perhaps some carefully considered and researched advertising if we can afford it) to let potential customers know how we can help ease their burdens and improve their situations.

    What do you think?

    #1001021
    kathiemt
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    Being prominent amongst our target audience is important so networking is definitely high on the ‘to do’ list. People like to do business with those they feel they know and trust and they’ll only feel that way if you’ve been visible – either physically at events or active enough at online forums. Developing relationships and building on them is paramount in my books.

    #1001022
    MissieK
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    I agree with Kathie. I also think for many online businesses, they need to get offline. Whether they start attending networking events, take their products to markets, or whatever, they need to be seen more than just online.

    Melissa

    #1001023
    kathiemt
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    Absolutely Melissa. If people only network and promote online they’re missing a large part of their audience. Not everyone uses the web to find services or connect with people. A lot of people are STILL technophobic or don’t use computers much in their businesses. And in my case, they need someone like me to help them with that part of their business – but they’re not going to find me because they can’t or won’t use the technology that would let them find me. So I have to go to them and through face-to-face networking events, that’s one good way.

    #1001024
    GrantH
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    A friend pointed out in an email direct to me that we also need to listen to what our customers really want and expect from us, and then over-deliver.

    She also pointed out that we need to make them feel special by remembering the little things – Birthdays, events in their life etc.

    Further “We also have to be easy to find and hard to forget!”

    Am keen to hear more thoughts!

    Cheers,

    Grant
    Sales Central – Your One-Stop Sales Shop

    #1001025
    Astrid
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    Hi Grant and all

    My first posting here :)

    I can only hightlight what you’ve written. I’ve learned that he old saying is still true – that you get 80% of your business from 20% of your clients. And that it is important to keep a good relationship with these 20%.

    Re your no 2): I think it’s also important to show and tell potential customers and clients in these days the advantages of working with us. Small microbusinesses vs larger corporations. Our knowledge has been build within larger companies – now we are much more flexible. Timewise, costwise.

    Cheers
    Astrid

    #1001026
    Angela communic8 design
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    I agree with the ‘off-line’ comments. Technology is great, but we’re all suffering from information overload and too much screen time. How nice is it to sit down and read a letter or get a card from someone we’ve helped out?

    I’m a big fan of the good, old-fashioned paper newsletter for that very reason, something that the recipients can read over a cup of tea.

    Bring on the tough times I say! It’s going to create great opportunities for businesses who are ready to do the little extra things that make such a big difference – thank you cards, hand written notes, consistent staying in touch tools like newsletters and e-news.

    I am constantly being told “I see you/your business name everywhere” and I have to honestly say, it’s not that hard. It’s all about having some great tactics that work for your business and systems that allow you do keep it up, consistently.

    I often tell my clients not to get daunted about all the things they COULD be doing to improve their business brand, just pick a few things that appeal and stick with them. They’ll undoubtedly be streets ahead of their competition.

    #1001027
    JohBD
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    I agree with your earlier respondents – going off line is really important.

    I have many clients who I spoke to online or over the phone, but we didn’t gel completely until we met. Watching someone’s body language, seeing them speak and really interacting makes all the difference for me. It makes my service more personal if I feel I ‘know’ the person I am writing for or promoting – and I get better results.

    Johanna

    #1001028
    Burgo
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    When I started in business over 50 years ago we communicated either by telephone , mail or visit. Today is a very different story mobile phones and computers have change the way most of us do business, but nothing beats the face to face approach.

    All my appointments are done either by phone or email, then I get to meet the customer and things change, you can have a chat over a coffee, find out something about them that there passionate about and work from there.

    Building up a customer base takes time but I have over 400 regular customers, that refer me to others on a regular basis. Its all about building trust in your relationship with your customers, being reliable, being honest and always yourself. Doing the best possible job at a reasonable price and getting repeat business everytime.

    The greatest reward is the phone call from the customer letting you know what a great job you did, and the money aint too bad either.

    #1001029
    MissieK
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    It’s funny, I have an offline magazine & hold an offline business conference. So many people have asked why these aren’t online! My response – with the magazine, my clients like to read them over coffee, waiting for kids/doctor/etc, with the conference, members want to meet offline :)

    Melissa

    #1001030
    Steven Hudson
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    Grant your right from a selling point of view most of us are soft (I say from a selling point of view as I would hate to generalising too much and having to say to big bad Barry Hall your soft, just ask Brent Staker) and that has been mainly through the great economic time with have enjoyed in the recent past.

    When times are good we don’t have to work so hard to do the deal, easy come, easy go, there will be someone coming through the door who will buy on ‘my’ terms. But it wasn’t so long ago when we had the recession we had to have and times were tough back then.

    The sales process for new business doesn’t change in good or bad times, it is just in the good times we become slack in doing what we should be doing on a daily basis. New business is a numbers game, do the number of calls that is the expected measure for your industry and the business will happen. i.e a Coke Cola rep may do 60 to 70 calls a day and BDE for heavy mining equipment might 60 to 70 calls a year.

    For existing customers there are ways to brick wall customers to your offer, understanding the service we have been offering in the past is at the level it should have been. Not a matter of ‘Oh! Times are tuff, shock, horror, I will have to now actually give real service to survive”. Brick walling is about making it hard for the customer to walk, as they may lose something in the process besides the great relationship you have built. For example a loyalty program; a customer may have built up X amount of $’s in a program which they will lose if they move.

    You could also consider working with another supplier and bundle up your offer together so it makes it hard for the competition to offer what is in the bundle. If you are graphic designer may want to do the printing for the customer?

    I was pitching for some work for a printer and they never charged for delivery which their competitors did. The partners would always deliver the finished product and it was a great way for them to keep active in customer land and keeping a relationship with there customer base. Bad for me I was selling transport services.

    #1001031
    Scott McLaughlin
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    Hi there is one other take on tough times, that for me at least, is critical

    In a self help book years ago, i remember reading the statement “your attitude determines your altitude”

    In tough times, I believe the resource you have the most control over is the one that needs the most work, you.

    When the going does get tough, even the most positive of folk can be deflated by consistent rejection and sales barriers. I know that one of my biggest learning’s since starting my own business is the power that resides within us to command the day that is ahead.

    In the end it is about being positive (people are attracted to that). You can think you are putting on a brave face, but we are much more transparent than we would like.

    Ra Ra, is a short term play. What does work is when you get up each day and decide how you will engage the world, NOT because of some hyped up belief, but because you know that one attitude drives your yield and the other one drives you into the ground. Its as pragmatic as that.

    For years now, I just get up and decide. I decide to be upbeat, positive, engaging and optimistic, not because I am under any delusion, simply because it is the only logical choice I can make. Choosing anything else is just madness.

    When I make this choice something else happens, I become more resilient. I have managed in this state of mind to turn a set back into an opportunity time and time again, because I refuse to give in. I refuse to give in, because that’s the promise I make and my chosen mindset gives me new capabilities. If the glass is half full so to speak, even the near empty ones have got something in them :)

    For me that’s what it comes down to in the end and its something I had no appreciation for until I was under more pressure than I had ever faced, funny thing is, looking back, that turning point was nothing, compared to what I have thrived in since

    Have a great day.

    Cheers
    Scott
    http://www.clutch.com.au
    http://www.scottmclaughlin.com.au

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