Apr 21, 2009

Selling in a Recession

A fantastic training resource for all of us is Selling Power's site. They have daily short videos that you can watch to get tips.

I came across this video today about selling during a recession. The key take aways are:

  • First, buyers don't purchase based on price. This is never the number one reason why people buy even in a recession. Instead, you need to show and prove that buying from your company is extremely low on the risk scale.
  • Second, you cannot come across as afraid that your job is at risk and that you are desperate to make a sale.
So, here's the way I'd approach this.
  • First, you need to instill confidence in your customers and prospects. You need to establish key pillars that you can use to show that your company will weather this storm. It could be that you've weathered two recessions. It could be that you have a diverse customer base etc.
  • Second, ownership/Mgt must instill confidence in their employees. You must show them that you have their backs and that their jobs are not a risk. A wounded animal gets eaten.
  • Third, you must be confident and believe that this recession is an opportunity for you and your clients. Work hard, show them value and that you are the guy/gal that will help them get through this tough time. Drive to survive, drive to thrive.

Watch the video, it's well worth the 4:30 minutes.

Thanks to Trish Bertuzzi, from the Bridge Group for sharing this video.

Apr 13, 2009

Groundswell Blook Report:Chapter Nine – Embracing the Groundswell

Groundswell is broken down into three parts. Part two (chapters 4-9) focus on tapping the groundswell. The authors provide advice and a strategic framework on how to do this.

Chapter 9: Embracing the groundswell

FriendFeed Room: Chapter Nine reference links and case studies from the book. Join the room and start a conversation.

Feature Video: Procter & Gamble VP Patrick Arlequeeuw talking about using innovation and embracing crowds to create the next $23B brand

This video is from September 2007 and it’s called “Blogging for Business”. This is a very interesting case study on how P&G is transforming itself from being a slow gigantic corporation to an innovative, responsive and collaborative organization.

What I learned:

1) If you reach a level where you can embrace your customers do it! You have willing participants who want to help you shape your company and your products and services.

2) Culture kills Groundswell initiatives and it will kill innovation. If you don’t encourage open communication, sharing and taking risk by putting your ideas “out there” then embracing is not for you.

3) That companies must have succession mechanisms in place in order to ensure their Groundswell program is sustainable. Your management team must be a “groundswell team” and champion all efforts. Don’t leave it to one person to champion. I’m starting to see that some of the companies case studied in the book haven’t continued with their Groundswell initiatives. Loblaws, Credit Mutael and Snausages are three examples in particular. This appears to be because the key Groundswell leader left.

4) Embrace people within your company as well as from the outside.

5) You will start to see interesting ideas evolve and natural cross collaboration begin to take place. People will start to connect the dots with ideas and thoughts that you’d never dreamed of seeing. This is where innovation really starts to come to life.

6) Make sure your online groundswell activities are tied to in real life ones. Case in point. I can rank Presidents Choice products online but when I go to their stores I don’t see any signage identifying their products as “Consumers Top Choice”. What I see instead is “Even Lower Prices”. What exactly is Loblaw positioning their Presidents Choice Product Line as?