Last week was GlobalSpec's National Sales Conference and a major topic on the minds of our sales force was the economy and its effects on our clients.  We came up with a few best practices that can apply to your sales and marketing approach to your customers that will set you apart from competition and other suppliers.

  • Acknowledge the economy.  Your sales and customer service team should be asking your customers how the economy is affecting their business.  It shows that you care about their business and that you are in touch with the business climate.
  • Ask how you can help.  Go one step beyond empathizing with your customers on the down economy and ask how you can assist them.  This may be a good opportunity to call on a level above your usual contact to ask how you can be a better supplier to them during this time.  There may be things that you can do as a company that could help your key customers – terms, packaging & labeling, training, lead times, service support to name a few.  It is also important to remind them of what you have done for them in the past.
  • Share best practices.  Proactively suggest new ways of working together, cost savings measures, and fresh applications for your products.  You are a partner when you do this rather than a supplier who is just looking for the next order.
  • Uncover opportunities.  It is not all doom and gloom in the market.  Demand for your products and services still exists.  By engaging your clients in a discussion of the year ahead you will find some that are growing.  It may lead you to different industries and applications for your products and services that can be a source of new business.

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