I heard recently that one of the keys to surviving a downturn in the economy is to focus on the “next best thing”. You may be experiencing a slow down in your sales efforts and, consequently, your service delivery, so take advantage of the break from the mania of the past.
How do you know what that next hot thing will be?
1. You do research.
Read industry magazines. Surf the internet. Create ‘Google alerts for topics you’re interested in and you’ll be notified any time an article appears on the internet about that topic. Attend conferences, interview thought leaders. Follow them on Twitter. Scan the horizon for themes. Study trends. Then use your imagination.
2. Train your staff
Once you’ve filtered through the noise and have focused on some up-and-coming ideas, train your staff on them. (See last week’s article on Maximizing Training’s ROI.) The more your employees know about the next best thing and the more you encourage innovation, the more likely you are to be able to take advantage of the rising tide by tailoring your existing products and services to meet the new opportunities being created. You might even be able to create new products and services in the emerging field.
3. Refine your sales & marketing efforts
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, ‘The early bird catches the worm’. Use your insight into the new trends to re-brand and re-position your company in the industry. Tailor your messages, update your language to demonstrate that you and your company are learning and moving forward. Position yourself as living on the cutting-edge. Your prospects and clients will notice, will see you as the expert and a thought leader and want to learn (and buy) more from you.
What ever you do, don’t waste this opportunity. Study, learn, create and implement. Those are the keys to rising above the circumstances; creating and living your dreams.