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STRATEGIC MARKETING TIPS From Business Marketing Impact

How to Keep Sales Up In a Slower Economy

BY TERRY L. PENNINGTON, CBC

On average, smaller and mid-sized businesses haven’t the faintest idea how to deal with a slowing economy. It’s a frightening thing when sales start dropping off and it gets even more serious when businesses react by cutting back on their sales and marketing efforts. Don’t panic; take positive action—Act, Don’t React.

Here’s What Not To Do

Don’t stop promoting and don’t start discounting or couponing. Doing so may cause gross sales to initially decrease at a slower rate but your profits will drop. Discounting reduces your selling price in your customer’s perception but it doesn’t reduce your costs—it just erodes your profit margin. Another factor to keep in mind is that once you start discounting or couponing your customers expect it and are disappointed when you stop.

Think Proactively

Step back and take a hard look at your community and your firm’s position in it. First, look at your customer base. What do you know about them? Why do they buy from you? What do they really think about your business? What opportunities exist to increase top-of-mind awareness of your firm and its products or services in their minds and the community’s perspective?

Convert your Customers into “Raving Fans”

Take a few minutes out of everyday and put yourself in their shoes. Offer service beyond belief and it will payoff big. Don’t stop promoting your business-- just look for ways to capitalize on delivering unexpected quality in customer service. Support that by exploring community opportunities you are probably overlooking. If you don’t have a website...get one. If you do, make sure it meets your customer's and prospect's needs and provides them with feedback directly to you. The result is well worth the investment.

Benefit from Commitment

Become active in a Trade Association, a Chamber of Commerce or a Business Alliance, network and utilize their resources. Encourage them to develop some specialized workshops to address ways to capitalize on the expertise of other members. Whatever you do, don’t just sit there doing the same old same old.

If you would like professional help, why not take advantage of BMI’s free consultation offer. We would be happy (at no charge) to discuss developing an effective, affordable marketing program for you. Time is money! Call us and let’s talk. 503.292.2050

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