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How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
How To  Sell And  Manage In  Tough  Times And  Tough  Markets  B I Z
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How To Sell And Manage In Tough Times And Tough Markets B I Z

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  • kindly send me a copy to topbags.unlimited@yahoo.com please. thanks.
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  • 1.  
  • 2. How To Sell and Manage In Tough Times and Tough Markets You can thrive, not just survive, in tough times! AUTHOR: Tom Reilly PUBLISHER: Motivation Press DATE OF PUBLICATION: August 2001 NUMBER OF PAGES: 135 pages Book pic
  • 3. THE BIG IDEA <ul><li>This book offers practical tips and advice on how salespeople and managers can effectively steer their way through times. </li></ul>
  • 4. TOUGH TIMES <ul><li>Tough times happen when you have an extended period of declining economic activity. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In business terms, tough times happen when supply is greater than demand, creating the proverbial buyer’s market. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s a different kind of tough times when demand is greater than supply. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It then becomes a “seller’s market.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Though sounding great, it brings with it another set of problems for sales people. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s tough times when you must work harder, finding it difficult to get ahead. </li></ul><ul><li>It doesn’t necessarily have to be a full-blown recession: if your company can’t ship products for whatever reason, the times may be rough. </li></ul>
  • 5. TOUGH MARKETS <ul><li>If you’re a salesperson and you have strong competitors who sell quality products, at competitive prices, with good service, you’re in a tough market. </li></ul><ul><li>Viewed in this way and put bluntly: all markets are tough. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are rolling recessions: tough times that roll from one industry to the next, or from one geographic area to another. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The domino effect of one company catching cold and passing it on to another is widely recognized in business. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The bottom line is: tough times and tough markets exist, and it’s never fair. Accept it, find ways to deal with it and move on. </li></ul></ul>
  • 6. <ul><li>There are a number of things that signal tough times on the horizon. Being aware of these and remaining vigilant will help you deal with tough times successfully. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal signals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your company has installed a hiring moratorium, they have frozen wages and they are encouraging employees to take early retirements. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your company has slashed advertising money, travel expenses and trade show budgets. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You see a consolidation of departments. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your suppliers and potential suppliers call on your company more frequently. </li></ul></ul></ul>TOUGH TIMES SIGNALS
  • 7. TOUGH TIMES SIGNALS <ul><ul><li>External signals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you encounter more price resistance than you normally experience, it’s a signal that things are tightening in your market. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Buyers try to negotiate lower prices with a kind of price-sensitivity born out of the need to survive in tough times. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Customers change their ordering patterns. Your phones ring less as customers place fewer orders. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Price objections go beyond normal level. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 8. Three biggest mistakes salespeople make in tough times <ul><li>They reduce face-to-face calling by 38% </li></ul><ul><ul><li>According to a purchasing management study, during tough times, salespeople call on customers at 62% the rate they call on customers during good economic times. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clients can easily sense this and so the best remedy is to increase your calling by 25%. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you call on customers at a rate of 125% of the rate you normally call, and your competition calls at a rate of 62% of the rate they normally call, you have effectively doubled your coverage. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Salespeople believe everything customers tell them and allow it to bias their presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you call on four customers and all of them tell you the times are tough, you may erroneously assume that it’s tough for everyone. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never assume that because some customers are suffering, all are suffering. </li></ul></ul>
  • 9. Three biggest mistakes salespeople make in tough times <ul><ul><ul><li>You may create your own misery with a customer if you gave him the opportunity to wield bad news for negotiating advantage. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Salespeople cut price versus value </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is always the easiest way to resolve price objections, but generally the costliest way for sellers to handle them in tough times. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When you cut price at the drop of a hat, say goodbye to your margins because it’s doubtful they will increase when the times get better. </li></ul></ul>
  • 10. <ul><li>Financial concerns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buyers rank money at the top of their list of worries during bad times. They slash budgets, cut costs and hammer suppliers for bargains. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cost containment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most buyers want lower costs, not just cheaper prices. In tough times, their overall concern with costs surfaces as a price objection, but it is really more of a concern with lower operating costs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clear buying priorities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buyers begin to require a clearer sense of needs versus wants. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Market conditions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buyers worry if they will be able to compete profitably for their customers’ business. This is one of the critical drivers of price resistance in tough times. </li></ul></ul>Seven things buyers worry about in tough times
  • 11. Seven things buyers worry about in tough times <ul><li>Employee issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Companies lay off employees. This hurts morale and feeds a general insecurity in workers. Additionally, companies cut costs, which includes salaries and vital resources employees need to perform their jobs adequately. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many companies must upgrade or replace equipment, but they do not have the resources to do it. They know the timing is perfect to buy, but their lack of resources holds them back. They are missing a buying opportunity that could position them for success after the storm passes. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>General anxiety </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The seventh thing on customers’ minds during tough times is the same thing that worries everyone: a generalized sense of anxiety or fear. The same thing that bothers you during these times also bothers your customers. </li></ul></ul>
  • 12. <ul><li>Knowledgeable salespeople </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is the most stable buyer preference for years. Customers want to deal with knowledgeable salespeople who understand the customers’ business and can prescribe the right solution for their problems. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Product or service quality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This concern rockets high in tough times. With limited resources to spend, buyers want great value for their money. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Product or service availability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buyers want their supplies or services when they need them – sooner versus later. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ease of doing business </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexibility and adaptability enable you to thrive in tough times. Buyers view your ease of doing businesses as a measure of your company’s management philosophy. </li></ul></ul>What buyers really want
  • 13. <ul><li>Technical support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In an age where more and more buyers need after-sales help, “high tech does not replace high touch.” Buying and selling is still a relationship business. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Acquisition price </li></ul><ul><ul><li>While this is a factor on buyers’ wants that appeared in recent surveys, in the long run, buyers want cost containment over price cuts. Cutting price is only one way of dealing with tough times. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ability to get things done </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As a salesperson, how effectively do you perform your job? Can you create the results your customers want and need? One study found that salesperson competence was the number one factor accounting for buyer satisfaction. Keep this in mind. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Follow up on promises </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A salesperson’s word and reputation are more valuable than a cheap price. </li></ul></ul>What buyers really want
  • 14. <ul><li>Product performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Perceived value is different than performance value. Perceived value excites buyers; performance value satisfies them. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Support after the sale </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will you be there for the customer after they have paid for your goods and services? In value added selling, we call this defensive selling – the sale after the sale. </li></ul></ul>What buyers really want
  • 15. <ul><li>Panic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most people panic in tough times – buyers, sellers, your management, your competition, your peers, and maybe you. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desperate people do desperate things. Be prepared for this. Be proactive. Reassure them. Help them deal with their panic. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Price cutting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When weaker competitors desperately begin cutting prices, don’t compound their ignorance with your own. “If all the other kids jumped in the lake, would you follow?” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fighting on the wrong battlefield </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose your battleground, not the competition’s battleground. If price is not your strength, don’t fight a price battle. </li></ul></ul>Competitive realities of tough times
  • 16. <ul><li>No money </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The business world can be a cold place to work in; it is numbers driven. You cannot make someone buy if they don’t have money. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It’s a demand issue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The problem is the buyer is not buying – you’re still selling! </li></ul></ul>Competitive realities of tough times
  • 17. The Tough Times Attitude <ul><li>According to Yogi Berra, “Ninety percent of the game is half mental.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Half of the battle is always in your head, half on the streets. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is true that we move in the direction of our thoughts; we become what we think about. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This is the foundation for the self-fulfilling prophecy. </li></ul><ul><li>Our beliefs set in motion activities creating results that confirm our expectations. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always remember, negative thoughts actually create negative surroundings and attract negative people. </li></ul></ul>
  • 18. Characteristics of tough timers <ul><li>Ever notice people who confront tough times head-on and continue to pursue their goals? </li></ul><ul><li>They won’t quit. It is not an option. You see them in all walks of life. </li></ul><ul><li>These are tough timers, and they share common denominators that serve as a benchmark for all of us. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They have courage. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They know how to limit their focus. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They have control or perceived control which works for their advantage. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are creative. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They know how to own their problems. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They persevere. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are optimists. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are humorous and they know how to belong in a support group. </li></ul></ul>
  • 19. Positive mental programming <ul><li>Mental programming is how you talk to yourself, good or bad. </li></ul><ul><li>Positive mental programming (PMP) is how to talk to yourself so that you will listen to positive, reinforcing, and inspiring messages. </li></ul><ul><li>Most people have heard of the computer principle called GIGO: garbage in, garbage out. </li></ul><ul><li>PMP is good thoughts in, good results out. Here are some ideas that help in reinforcing PMP in your life: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dream big dreams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It’s recommended that you dream during tough times. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You can do it every waking moment, or at night before you close your eyes. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dreams spawn hope, which is an important emotional spark for salespeople. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sales is an emotional sport. What happens when you fail to dream? Nothing. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 20. Positive mental programming <ul><ul><li>Expect buffeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Buffeting is the natural energy that accompanies change. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Physically, you experience this when you haven’t exercised in a long while and embark on a fitness program. Your muscles become sore. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They are informing you that you’re making a change. This happens emotionally also. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use selective input </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be very careful of what you choose to hear and believe. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No one can change your opinion without your permission. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why would you allow a cynic the opportunity and the power to infect you with their thinking? Check the source. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  • 21. Positive mental programming <ul><ul><li>Practice emotional equity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Give your adversity an appropriate amount of emotion. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why cry when a simple frown will do the trick? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why put yourself in a state of psychotic despair when simple disappointment will work? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seize control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The message is clear: Focus more on those things you control and less on those things over which you have little control or no control over. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You will find that about 90% of the things that account for your success are things that you control. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The other 10% may require yielding and accepting – going with the flow. That, too, is a valuable skill. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  • 22. Positive mental programming <ul><ul><li>Maintain your focus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The more time you invest thinking about what you want to accomplish, the less time you have available obsessing on what you want to avoid. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Concentrate on what you want to achieve, not what you want to avoid. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reinforce the effort </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Initially, reinforce the effort, not the results. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When you attempt to change behavior, trying is good enough at the start. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The key is to get busy doing what you want to accomplish. As long as you’re initiating actions, you’re not a victim of circumstance. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 23. Selling in tough times <ul><li>You’re fighting the battle and winning. Now it’s time to fight the battle in the streets. </li></ul><ul><li>For starters, there are behind-the-scene strategies you can employ for tough times. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Firstly, get the pressure off yourself. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It’s common sense but most people need to be reminded of this from time to time. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secondly, prepare, prepare, prepare. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In tough times, you can link your attitude to good planning for success. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lastly, practice good time management. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There is noting, according to Peter Drucker, that is so useless as doing things efficiently that shouldn’t be done at all. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 24. <ul><li>Be a positive information source </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your customer is inundated with bad news. You may be the only sunshine they see today. You must be a hope merchant. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spread your message of hope far and wide. Customers are eager to buy it. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sell value, not price </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The temptation to cut price in tough times is great. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But if you cut your price, how will you get your prices up when the tough times are over? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your value doesn’t diminish in tough times. Why should your price go down? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Promise a lot and deliver more </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on delivering more than you promise. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is essential for customer satisfaction. </li></ul></ul></ul>Face-to-face selling strategies
  • 25. <ul><li>Lose no business. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nail shut your back door. On average, it costs ten times more to get a new customer than to keep an existing customer happy. Treat your customers as if they were prospects. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make more calls </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In tough times you must work harder. There is no way to sugarcoat it. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t let the customer see you sweat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customers always speak on the record. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They will use anything you say in their negotiation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If customers know your business is faltering, they will use this information to gain negotiating momentum. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Empathize, don’t sympathize </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is more than a game of semantics; it’s a difference in your attitude. </li></ul></ul>Face-to-face selling strategies
  • 26. <ul><ul><li>Empathy is the intellectual understanding of someone’s pain. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sympathy is when you sit down and cry with the customer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There must be no false sense of duty on your part to bleed when someone else is cut. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You can understand their pain without having to cut yourself, too. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Leverage every opportunity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leveraging is achieving a high ratio of outcome to input. Expand your penetration vertically and horizontally. Sell deep and wide into your accounts. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Influence and lead </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Just remember: customers want to deal with leaders, not followers. You don’t have to be a manager to possess the confidence and knowledge of one. </li></ul></ul>Face-to-face selling strategies
  • 27. <ul><li>Get your manager in the field more </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A good management strategy is to visit customers often. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In tough times it is imperative. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your manager can be a source of strength for the marketplace if he or she brings hope and reassurance. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Probe for pain and hope </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Probe for root-canal pain. Seek those areas that hurt the buyer more than paying too much for something. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Similarly, look for those areas where customers are fully satisfied. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Probe for discretionary cash </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is always money. It just shifts from account to account. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buying and selling is all about priorities. But you must penetrate the account at the highest possible level to find the money. </li></ul></ul>Face-to-face selling strategies
  • 28. <ul><li>Focus long term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always view success in the long term and failure in the short term. You are on the road to success. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continue to focus on long-range issues with customers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Their short-term pain will end as soon as the spigot opens and they can begin the projects that are currently on hold. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep your emotions under control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s impossible to deal with other people’s emotions unless your emotions are under control. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In tough times, everyone is stressed, creating the need for you to demonstrate a greater amount of tolerance for others’ emotions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Continue with your proactive message </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Talk about the investments your company is making in R&D, the quality initiatives, and financial stability of your company, among others. </li></ul></ul>Face-to-face selling strategies
  • 29. <ul><li>Be flexible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You will soon discover that in tough times, your flexibility, adaptability and creativity are your greatest allies. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create buying opportunities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are numerous ways to position selling as an opportunity for people to buy rather than for them to spend. </li></ul></ul>Face-to-face selling strategies
  • 30. <ul><li>In tough times, we need great leaders. </li></ul><ul><li>A rule of thumb for managers is: Manage the process and lead your people. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Managers focus on processes and leaders focus on people. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If you are to lead your organization in and out of tough times, you must become a strong, positive leader. </li></ul><ul><li>As a manager and leader, your employees and customers look to you for stability and hope. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember that leaders inspire others to act. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They make other people believe that the impossible is possible. They set the tone for others to follow. </li></ul></ul>Managing in tough times
  • 31. <ul><li>Managers believe everything salespeople say </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This can prove harmful to your company. As a leader, you must learn to listen well to your troops – both employees and customers. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Radical cost slashing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Across-the-board budget cuts are like blanket bombing; you get the job done but leave too much collateral damage in your wake. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reduced promotional efforts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cutting effective campaigns during tough times is shooting yourself in the foot. You’re canceling your method for attracting new customers. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No tough times plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Smart leaders prepare for the worst, hope for better, and focus their companies on what they do best. </li></ul></ul>Four biggest mistakes managers make in tough times
  • 32. <ul><li>Selective input </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As a manager, you must listen to your employees; what they perceive as reality is reality for them. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make prudent cost-containment decisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Targeted cuts in nonessential areas ideally cut fat. If you must cut costs, ask your folks where they think you should cut costs. They are closer to the action and will give you greater feedback. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visit customers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As a leader, your job is to reassure others that everything will be okay. Customers will want to know that your business is moving in the right direction. A visit from managers means you are in control and know your direction. </li></ul></ul>Seventeen things you can do in tough times
  • 33. <ul><li>Don’t shoot the messenger </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen well. If your employees feel that they can approach you with their concerns, they may bring new ideas for solving old problems. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increase promotions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This may be hard to accept, but this counter-intuitive strategy pays huge dividends. The noise-level is lower in tough times; your exposure is higher. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Think like a farmer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the winter months, farmers work on equipment and other aspects of their business that they typically ignore during planting and harvesting. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You may find that tough times are ideal for retrofitting your facility, examining your production processes, training your people, and adjusting inventory. </li></ul></ul>Seventeen things you can do in tough times
  • 34. <ul><li>Focus on teams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of leadership is maintaining the cohesiveness of your teams. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>With all of the competition you have on the streets, you don’t need competition inside your walls. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Eliminate work, not people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If there are problems concerning weak employees, you don’t need tough times to discover them. What most companies discover during tough times are unnecessary work, not unnecessary employees. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use non-monetary rewards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In tough times, money is usually short for giving rewards. You can use praise, recognition, promotions, job enrichment, appreciation dinners, professional development opportunities and equipment upgrades to demonstrate appreciation. </li></ul></ul>Seventeen things you can do in tough times
  • 35. <ul><li>Develop a proactive credit policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay ahead of receivables unless you want to be a banker. Manage your credit system properly with the most amount of flexibility. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Empathize with vendors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You’re suppliers are feeling the pinch right now, too. Take it easy on them. They are your partners. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cut from the top first </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you ask your troops to feel the pain, it must start from the top. Top-down cuts inspire trust and respect from employees. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communicate openly with your employees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They need top-level information, at times, on what is going on in the business. </li></ul></ul>Seventeen things you can do in tough times
  • 36. <ul><li>Encourage creativity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage creativity among your people, ask for new product applications of current technology, and look for evolutionary spin-offs of what you presently offer. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Purge the ranks of cynicism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get rid of negative salespeople ASAP. You have neither the time nor the energy to invest in negativity. They will deplete you of the strength you need to move forward. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Think forward </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tough times will not last forever. What will your company look like when tough times are over? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cash is king </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In tough times, cash is one of the most precious resources that companies can leverage into competitive gain. Pairing surplus inventory, selling obsolete equipment, and pruning expenses are a start. </li></ul></ul>Seventeen things you can do in tough times
  • 37. BusinessSummaries.com is a business book Summaries service. Every week, it sends out to subscribers a 9- to 12-page summary of a best-selling business book chosen from among the hundreds of books printed out in the United States. For more information, please go to http://www.bizsum.com. ABOUT BUSINESSSUMMARIES

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