When the economy is strong businesses focus on business development. When the economy is weak those same businesses worry about survival. Why is that? In this article I’d like to share some ideas about what you can do to make sure your business is always growth focused rather than survival focused.
First, we have to explore why and how your business shifts into survival mode. Most businesses “find” themselves in survival mode because their sales unexpectedly slow or, worse yet, come to a screeching halt. Your business hasn’t changed and neither has what you’re selling, so why all of a sudden is it so difficult to sell.
The answer to restoring your sales is within your business. The cause of your current poor sales is outside your business. You see when sales suddenly fall off there is a reason for that. The reason is a change in the market created by a change in your buyers needs.
That’s why it’s so important to not just monitor what’s happening in the world outside your business, but to track and test exactly what’s going on in your business and why. When you effectively test and track you can predict these seemingly sudden changes before they happen.
Of course, when you can predict a change you can also adapt for the change. This empowers you to smoothly transition into a new sales increase.
External changes demand internal changes. If you don’t adapt the way you do business or what you are selling to better fit the changes external to your business you lose. You suffer sudden sales drops and then you have to scramble to recover.
Because you haven’t tested and tracked during the change you don’t fully understand what is happening or why it’s happening. This tends to force you to shoot from the hip and make gut reaction decisions. Rarely will a reactive approach produce the desired results a proactive approach can.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “If you find yourself in a hole stop digging”. Well, it’s still good advice.
Doing more of what isn’t working isn’t going to make it work. The only thing that will work to increase your sales is the same plan of attack you’d use if you wanted to develop business in a completely new market. The changes that went unnoticed before the current sales decline have, in effect, created a new market.
So before you can crank up those sales you’re going to need to make sure you know:
What the people most likely to buy your stuff are already looking for
What they need to hear to make a buying decision
How they perceive getting what they want
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