It’s opportunity and if you’re a small business owner it’s at your door.
Folks, this is really the time for small business to seize the day and shine! While all of the big, major companies are chasing their tails and trying to figure out what to do, business is still going on.
Let’s take a look at the landscape.
Bailouts, downsizing, rightsizing, big overhead, bankruptcies, credit freezes, doors closing – why, the corporate world is just a mess! And during it all there is still a need for what most of them were selling.
So, what are you doing about it? I hope you are capitalizing on the situation. Follow these steps and you’ll capture that business.
1. Define the value of your product or service — from the client’s point of view
2. Establish the reasons people buy from YOU
3. Develop your marketing strategies around those two things
4. Market to those people and companies who NEED what you offer
5. Market to those people and companies who KNOW your target
Once you’re in, nurture those relationships to cement your place with those clients. Visit with current clients to make sure you’ve penetrated them as far as possible. Many times we get an order and move on to the next prospect. Now is the time to go back, cultivate those relationships and ensure you are doing everything you can for them.
In addition, develop referral networks. When things get tighter, you are afforded more time to act. So, get out and create relationships with other people and companies – the ones you didn’t have time for when you were busy.
Always, always be a giver. Think about this for a moment — if you are experiencing any anxiety or concern about the current market conditions, so are your clients and contacts. What better way to build your relationships with them than by talking with them. Find out what’s concerning to them. What do they need? Connect them to the people and companies that can meet those needs. You know the old saying — ‘What goes around comes around.’ Give and you will get.
One of the advantages you have as a small business owner/salesperson is flexibility. Traditionally, the small business has lower overhead and therefore, a greater ability to match the prospect’s needs. It may mean realizing a smaller margin but the payoff can be huge. You’ll most likely keep and grow the business with those clients.
So, while the big players are chasing their tails, you’ll be developing lasting relationships and growing your business. You’ll find these clients very loyal. Why? Because you were there for them in their time of true need; you were willing to work with them in a partnership format; you were giving.
Really, at the core of it all — because you were there.
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About the Author: Diane Helbig is a Professional Coach and the president of Seize This Day Coaching. Diane is a Contributing Editor on COSE Mindspring, a resource website for small business owners, as well as a member of the Sales Experts Panel at Top Sales Experts .