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Marketing Profit Hunt Series

 

 

 

Economic Uncertainty – A Sales Opportunity for the Taking

We are being bombarded with uncertain news about the economy; some experts say we are going into a recession and other say we are not. We all know about the  problems in the sub-prime lend market and the repercussions that are driving some key indicators into the negative, while not affecting others. 

We have faced uncertain times before.  We have seen growth of outsourcing, overseas competitors’ penetration of our markets, commodity pricing and our customers changing their purchasing process.  Successful manufacturers have always adapted to these changes and prospered – the current situation is no different. Take the time to analyze your marketing and sales strategies and adjust them to stay on the right track.

So, what are the steps you should be taking to address this challenge?

1.  Audit your marketing plan to ensure that it is appropriate for today’s market. A marketing audit will focus your efforts and get rid of unproductive activities, thus reducing your marketing expenses and giving you “more bang for your buck”.  An audit will answer the following questions:

a. Is your Marketing Strategy appropriate for today’s conditions?

b. Are your Marketing Tactics cost effective?

c. Is your Marketing Mix optimized?

d. Is your company positioned properly in the market?

e. Is your Marketing Message targeted to the right market?  

2. Audit your sales strategy to ensure that your sales force is focused on developing new business and not just order-taking. 

 a. Are they focusing on prospects that match the profile of customers who give you 80% of your profits?  

 b. Are they paying attention to your current customers? Research has shown that 2/3 of your lost customers leave because they did not feel valued as your customer.

 c. Are they calling on lost customers?  These buyers are 5 times more likely to buy from you than a new prospect. Studies show 2-10% of these inactive customers will buy if you only contact them.           

 d. Are your sales representatives tenacious? Research by the National Sales Executive Association shows that 80% of all sales occur between the fifth trough twelfth contact and only 20% of sales occur between the first through the fourth contact.

3. Audit your Customer Service.. Is it responsive and effective? Since you spend thousands of dollars to attract your customers, you must ensure that they are being treated well. If they are, they will recommend your company to others, resulting in more sales. If they are not: not only will they will not buy, and not return, they will also tell at least 10 other people of their negative experience.

Therefore your audit must ask

             a. Are they being treated well?
             b. Do your personnel have a positive, customer-focused attitude?
             c. Do they have the information needed to do their job?
             d. Is each and every customer receiving the quality of service you promised?

By taking these steps, you will be strengthening your company’s ability to compete in any economic environment and to thrive regardless of whether the economy grows, slows or stays the same. 

  This article is the second of the Marketing Profit Hunt series

Surviving and prospering during the economic downturn.

About the Author:  Ken Wilson: Strategist, marketing guru, educator, facilitator, author, university lecturer and consultant, he can be reached at ken@wmg-mn.com  or 763-476-2216

Copyright ©2013 by Ken Wilson    All rights reserved

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