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by Barbara Brabec
All Rights Reserved
Barbara Brabec's World
BarbaraBrabec.com

A Dozen Strategies for
Growth and Financial Success
in a Difficult Economy

Adapted from Barbara's Books
 

Good marketing involves much more than just selling a product or service. Special strategies must be developed for growth and greater financial success in both good times and bad. Here is the ten-point list I developed one year when I found myself in a difficult marketing situation. These things worked for me; they'll work for you, too:

1. Remain consistent in the quality of your products and services.

2. Further develop your own special style of doing business. In the end, people do business with people, not "companies" or "businesses."

3. Size up your competition. Find their weak points and capitalize on them. Fight back with appropriate marketing strategies and sales pitches.

4. More sharply identify your special industry niche and your special customer prospects; then intensify your sales and marketing activities in this direction.

5. Enlist the aid of those who believe in you and what you are doing. Figure out ways to work with others on a commission basis. Let them help you grow.

6. Get serious about managing your business. Make things happen by first making plans, then implementing them.

7. Add to your overall profits by adding new products or services.

8. Keep looking for new ways to sell everything. The possibilities are enormous and often overlooked.

9. Study the financial figures of your business to pinpoint your strongest, most profitable products and services. At the same time, look for ways to cut costs and increase profits.

10. If you do not always meet your financial goals, remember that you're doing fine when you can simply hold your position in the face of increasing competition or a lagging economy. Longevity in one's business is an important success factor.

 

Two Additional Strategies to Try

Focus on follow-ups. Consultant Bob Bly suggests this follow-up strategy, particularly effective in hard times: "Help existing clients or customers create new sales for you. Call existing accounts with new ideas that will benefit them while requiring them to buy more of what you're selling. They get your ideas, suggestions and solutions to problems at no charge, while you sell more of your product or service to help them implement the idea you suggested."

Donít lower your prices. When business is sluggish, and particularly in recessionary times, many sellers lower their prices in hopes of selling more products or services. Before you do this, however, stop and consider that a lowering of prices by 20 percent will mean that you have to bring in more than a 20 percent increase in sales just to offset your loss of revenue. It's tough to increase sales by 20 percent in a good year; in recessionary times, it's likely to be impossible. A better strategy, I've found, is to keep your prices the same, but introduce new and less expensive variations of your stand-by products and services.

For example, during one recession I learned that, while fewer people purchased my books, more of them purchased my inexpensive line of special reports (created as a result of my dire need for income at the time). Surprisingly, they often spent more on several reports than they would have spent on a book, indicating that lack of dollars was not the only issue here. I learned then that people don't stop buying in recessionary times, but they do become much more careful about how they spend the limited dollars they have. Whenever you can zero in on the special needs and interests of your customers or clients, and offer them a product or service at an affordable price, they will find the money to buy it.

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For more of Barbara practical no-cost/lost-cost marketing ideas, read Homemade Money: Bringing in the Bucks.