What’s Your Best Strategy?

A few days ago, a poll at caught my eye, where it asked “What is your best strategy for this economy?” Here were the results:

  • Focus on better prospects: 33%
  • Make more calls: 25%
  • Improve sales process: 29%
  • Reduce risk of buying 8%
  • Lower price: 2%
  • Get better technology: 2%

I find these results interesting. First off, on a positive note, I’m glad to see only 2% responded by stating they’d lower their price. Though the skeptic in me wonders if they just don’t want to admit that’s one of the things they’re doing. In a previous entry, a commenter pointed out the special discount this past week on my products as an example of cutting price (by the way the 50% discount ends Friday night). Again, thank you for your comments Chris! However, the engine of my business for nearly 25 years has been speaking engagements, and in fact my fee went up in 2008 by 20%! Offering an aggressive discount on product means they get into more hands and my message gets out to more people, some of which have the ability to hire me!

I’m also thrilled to see that 25% said they’d make more calls, because many salespeople don’t make enough calls.what does “more calls” mean to you? Is it one more call; two; three; maybe ten.

If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written on prospecting, listened to my audio program, Don’t Count the Yes’s, Count the No’s, or watched my prospecting DVD, Prospecting Skills that Work, you know how important it is to specifically quantify the amount of calls you need to make. Anytime you leave something vague or open ended, it makes it way too easy to stop doing it! Without a plan, “Make More Calls” can be a recipe for disaster.

As far as “improve sales process” and “focus on better prospects,” they both seem pretty vague. I mean so many elements can fall under “sales process.” As far as “better prospects,” some of my least qualified prospects have gone on to be some of my biggest winners, and many times salespeople use “we need better prospects” as an excuse not to sell.

But the good news is: Salespeople and companies are recognizing the crucial need to adapt.

Which brings me to you; I’d like to know: What are some of the strategies you’re using?

If you’re improving your sales process, give specific examples how. If you’re focusing on better prospects, let us know what kind and how you came to that decision. Even if you’re not in sales, any type of personal or professional strategy is welcome!

7 Responses to “What’s Your Best Strategy?”

  1. Print media ,direct mail and Google pay per click campaigns are not working well for me in this economy.What is working to drive new prospects to my web site is e-blasts managed by a program called Constant Contact.

  2. Garvin Daniel says:

    I'm in the insurance business. We provide life, home, auto and business insurance to clients. Our company has gone through major changes in the last year, most notably with the implementation of credit based insurance scoring on homes, and most recently for my area, autos. We work diligently to maintain a relationship with our clients that goes beyond just "taking a payment". I feel my agency stands out by not only providing a great product, as most other companies are inclined to believe they have as well, but to also educate the client on what they are really buying. It's not just a product to use in the event of a loss, but the security of knowing someone will be here when they need us the most; that they have a trusted professional that can help guide them through a stressful moment, and let them know what the processes are to get through the stressor. In this, we are always looking for new avenues to bring in prospective clients, but even more importantly, to keep the ones we already have from leaving out the back door by providing the education of what they are purchasing. It's not just a "necessary evil" required by law, but a knowledge that we will be there when there is a need. It is our company's, and my, mission to be the most trusted and valued service-driven insurance company.

  3. Pat Finke says:

    Technology is supposed to make things easier, faster and more economical for us all but what I've learned in this challenging economy is the best solution is "back to basics." It is too easy for my prospects to ignore an email and even a phone call. It's a bit tougher to ignore me when I've walked into your place of business to talk with you. Advertising sales have been hit hard these past few months because all of the "regulars," especially auto dealers, have come off the air. I've been selling TV advertising since 1990 and the one thing that has remained constant is good results from "in person cold calling." It's not a sales reps favorite thing to do, but hey, if it was easy everyone would be doing it! I seem to have plenty of time on my hands right now, so I'm headed out to make a few more cold calls today. To be more specific, at least 6 more face to face introductions before I go home. I'm refraining from judging a business by it's appearance because some of the finest gems have come out of the roughest looking rocks!

    Happy Holidays to all and keep those spirits high!

  4. Charles,

    Thanks for the tip regarding Constant Contact. We've also been using Google ads to promote our audio and video products with mixed results.

  5. Thanks Garvin for once again reminding us all that quality, service, convenience and value are the best "Differentiators," no matter what the economic climate. An educated client is far less likely to leave you for a competitor, because they truly understand the value of what you do.
    Remember, clients only know what they're supposed to know if you tell them.

  6. Pat, I couldn't have said it better myself. But you know what I loved most about Pat's comment: Pat's an 18 year veteran!

    Most "veterans" think they're beyond this, but Pat is smart enough to realize, "It's all about the basics."

  7. Rick S says:

    Good work Garvin. You get a $10,000 a year raise!

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