Shame on me. My web 2.0 engagement is lamentably low. I clicked on an auto-LinkedIn mail the other day as dozens of people have apparently invited me to be ‘connections’. It’s been literally years since I ‘connected’ myself. I was delighted to find their Answers action still had a sales section.
The most recent question seemed to engender an unusually large number of responses (52); how did you manage to boost sales in a slow economy?
A decent qu. Having around 40 posts myself on all things credit crunch selling related, I eagerly read on.
Here’s the first thing. How many of the 52 do you think answered the question?
Amazingly, it was just 8. I appreciate that mine is a highly subjective measure, but I felt that only these 15% answered with bona fide examples of what they themselves had done. The questioner was specific. “How did you…”. Of other responses, many also neglected to follow the dictum of “…boost sales…”, electing to talk of merely making sales. All were either vague, although they may have been from personal experience it couldn’t be certainly so. Or they were basically what you’d get if you googled. Useless bland generic waffle. Here’s a graphic representation of this malaise.
Can it be really true that in only one out of every six cases (roughly 15% of the time) a salesperson correctly answers the question?
Of further interest was the fact that just two mentioned any discernible figures, and only one person delivered any kind of metric. Although frustratingly it only talked about generated leads, rather than as the question requested, sales and needs work on its structure. Anyway, here it is, from a Mr Kenneth Darryl Brown.
I embraced the Internet and resources that the web provides and started conducting my first call appointments ONLINE! Now instead on seeing 3 or 4 people a day, I can connect with 6 or 8 prospects without leaving the office! I save time and money! More connects equal more sale opportunities!
As for the remainder, here’s a selection of other quotes:
- Sample. (No wink)
- Instead, prospect for change
- In a slower economy, put an emphasis on customer retention instead of new customer acquisition, which is more expensive
- when your core customers starting cutting back it is time to explore
- The best companies don’t cut marketing spending in a downturn, they do the opposite
- Red Adair said: “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur”
And finally, one person (from Scotland of all places) unwittingly perhaps gave a killer insight. A consultant called Mr Tim Sandford commented,
Focus on the market need…Prove your product delivers…Talk to more people
In truth these are the same recommendations we would make in the good times to companies that want to grow and they work.