Building Business Relationships to Survive the Economy

The Economy May Be Bad But Your Business Can Survive

Businesses, especially small businesses have been taking a serious hit during the hard times that have hit the global economy. That's not news to very many people but the reality is, if you don't do something, nothing good is likely to happen. At the very least, things will continue hobbling along until the money once again begins to flow in.

Most folks have heard the saying, "If you keep doing what you did, you'll keep getting what you got". In other words, continue using your marketing strategy from times when sales were easier to get and you stand a chance of declining forecasts.

It's time, past time really, for a different perspective.

Survive the Economy

The economy may be bad but your business doesn't have to be
The economy may be bad but your business doesn't have to be

Different Efforts = Different Results

Have you changed your approach when addressing your customers yet? Building relationships is a time honoured method of increasing client loyalty and it is even more important, critical perhaps, in a recessionary climate. If you do it correctly, it can go a long way to helping you to survive the economy.

The economic downturn has people nervous. They’ve got spending jitters, afraid of parting with their hard-earned cash in case they run out before more comes in. While it’s understandable that folks are being cautious, you can incorporate and address that fear in a way that draws in sales.

When you look at this situation, your natural inclination is probably to drop your prices. That seems to make sense but it is not the best idea. Price dropping is likely to put you in the price comparison category. People will shop around to see if one of your competitors has an even cheaper price.

The way to offset this type of comparison price shopping is to focus on the value of your product offering. Show your customers what they get for the price. Point out the features and play up the benefits. How will what you offer help your customers? Switch their attention from price to value. Help them to know how much they will get out of purchasing from you.

Overcome Objections

Reduce purchasing stress for your customer.  A successful sale will help ease your financial fears, too
Reduce purchasing stress for your customer. A successful sale will help ease your financial fears, too

Face the Fear and Overcome Objections

As I mentioned before, people are scared. Address that fear, rather than pretend that it isn’t there. Align yourself with your potential customer to get their perspective. Perhaps they are one of the many out of work. Imagine it was you in their place. What would you need to hear before feeling safe and comfortable enough to spend precious dollars?

Something I want to emphasize here – do not lie. Be truthful about your product, guarantees, etc. Just approach the subject from your client’s perspective and plan your sales and marketing strategy using that angle.

Form a Bond

In today’s marketplace, companies need to offer comfort, hope and encouragement in order to increase their chances of still being around when the financial climate improves. If you can do that, you’ll not only be building relationships that last, you’ll also stand the best chance possible to survive the economy.

© 2009 Herald Daily

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Comments 8 comments

dusanotes profile image

dusanotes 7 years ago from Windermere, FL

What a great Hub, Herald, keep up the good work. Don White


Herald Daily profile image

Herald Daily 7 years ago from A Beach Online Author

Thank-you very much, Don.


Ambersky  7 years ago

thats a Good hub thank you

Rita


Herald Daily profile image

Herald Daily 7 years ago from A Beach Online Author

Thanks, Ambersky!


Christian Murphy profile image

Christian Murphy 6 years ago from Cape Breton, NS

I agree with you on this one Herald.


Herald Daily profile image

Herald Daily 6 years ago from A Beach Online Author

Thanks, Christian.


Frank O'Hara 6 years ago

Excellent advice!

Some thirty years ago, I took over a company as General Manager that had already failed twice and closed the doors. I was one of two employees at the time.

It was manufacturing and sales of a custom product to businesses and our products were very high dollar. Some of my sales would be in the multi-millions of dollars today.

The first thing I did was talk to potential customers to find out what they liked and didn't like about my competitors. They liked the quality of their product but they hated their delivery. Their delivery was 5 to 7 weeks from the order date. Price was a factor too. They didn't feel they got their money's worth from the competitor.

I did two things. I priced my product slightly lower but still made a great profit and second, I set our shop up to always deliver in 3 weeks. It worked!

Within 3 years, 9 out of 11 competitors were permanently gone. Doors closed and locked with a "For Rent" sign. My largest competitor survived but in a much smaller state. By then, we were coming out of the recession and were growing by leaps and bounds. Our third year growth was 1,600%! In three years, we grew from 2 employees to 24 employees with overtime.

When I promised a customer, I always delivered when I said I would. Luckily, as General Manager, I could do that.

Now is the time to take charge. Most competitors are in financial straits and all you need to do is push them over the edge. Make sure your business is profitable and don't do stupid stuff. I remember a very large competitor in the next state. Apparently, I scared them. On one bid, i figured my hard costs for materials at $59,000.00 and bid the project at $171,000.00. When I called the project manager to see if I won the bid, he asked me if I wanted to refigure my bid. I told him "No" but asked him how much I would have to come down. He told me "$98,000.00." I told him to let the low bidder have it. I knew I couldn't make a profit at that price and I would be better off letting the competitor have it. Sure enough, he got it and declared bankruptcy about 4 months later. Another competitor gone! LOL!

In the end, I virtually had no competition. They were either gone or so financially weak they couldn't compete.

.


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Herald Daily 5 years ago from A Beach Online Author

Love your story, Frank. I spent a couple of decades in the promotional products industry and witnessed many a company go belly up for doing exactly what your competitors did. You handled the situation perfectly, in my opinion.

Bravo, Frank!

Thank-you for sharing this excellent example.

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