Peter Master No Comments

Stimulating Sales in A Slow Economy

Yes, it looks like the economic slowdown will be with us for a while…


      So what can you do to stimulate sales, to get more business in these troubled times?

It all starts with knowing your Ideal Customer. At the heart of good marketing is understanding who is our Ideal Customer – what are their needs and preferences, are they brand conscious, value driven or price-conscious? What insights do we have about the way they use our product or service? What’s important to them?


Why do I say focus on your Ideal Customer? Because, in tough times, they are the ones who will support your business, who will keep coming back. The non-ideal customers will look for discounts, buy less frequently and probably complain at every opportunity – send them to your competitors!


Here are 5 things you can do to keep your Ideal Customers coming back for more.

1. Keep Creating Value

Now you’re focused just on your Ideal Customers, your best customers, keep creating and adding value. Instead of handling complaints from your non-ideal customers, spend time on improving your product/service to make your Ideal Customers even happier!

My favourite fruit stall, for example, gave me a surprise last week. She threw in an extra apple after I picked ten! I didn’t expect that at all. Now, I always patronize her, but do you think I might tell a few people about this little gesture of hers? The Law of Reciprocity practically ensures it! If nothing else, she’s got me as a customer for life, anyway.

So, what can you do? Maybe you’re not in retail, maybe your product or service is too high-priced to give away. What about improving your delivery time? What about delivering more efficiently? What about a little booklet of handy tips just for your industry? … Does this give you some ideas?

2. Train Your Team

Yes, this is NOT the time to cut back on training! But focus your training on skills that will get business results. Train everyone to give better service – especially to your ideal clients / customers. This should be at every level. It could be as simple as the cliché “Service with a smile.” But you can probably brainstorm with your team to see how you can improve service at every point in your delivery chain.

One company I know doesn’t have Customer Service representatives … They have Customer Happiness Coordinators instead! How cool is that? Doesn’t it shift the whole mind-set?

3. Invite your Best Customers back

What about inviting your best customers to an exclusive event? Perhaps it’s the launch of a new product(s) in conjunction with your Anniversary. Perhaps it’s an invitation to a product demonstration, or the unveiling of your new logo, new factory, new corporate video … Getting some ideas?

And if they’re your Ideal Customers, your best buyers, what do you think are the chances of making some sales? People like Robinson’s and Metrojaya do it all the time, isn’t it?

4. Upgrade Your Product or Service

Times like these are also great for revamping your product or service. Maybe it’s a line extension. Or perhaps it’s a refreshing or upgrading of product packaging. Could this position your product to cater to new customers with higher disposable incomes?

5. Launch New Products

Another way to generate more sales and new customers is to launch new products. If your product is mainstream, you could look at adding a more premium product to your range or portfolio. Conversely, if you are able to source good quality at low prices, you might consider introducing an “economy brand” at times like this when the customers’ wallet is being pinched by GST, toll hikes, etc.

So there you are. Five things you can do almost immediately to stimulate sales.

Not all five may apply in your case, but if you only do one of these, wouldn’t that help?

And if you’re fortunate enough to have a business where all 5 apply, which will you do first?

Share your results and ideas by clicking below.


Peter Master No Comments

Are You Missing Any of These 7 Essentials for Great Team Work?

We all know playing as a real team gets great results. It’s called Synergy. Who wouldn’t want a strong team, right? Yet, so many organizations are not able to achieve great team work. The thing most people struggle with is “How?” How do you build a great team.

Here are some essentials for building a strong team …

1. Get the right people

Building a team is like baking a cake. The right ingredients make all the difference. Are you using pure butter or margarine? Are you using quality Belgian baking chocolate or local tropicalized chocolate?

To get the right people to join you, you need to identify them, first of all. What qualities would the right people have? Dynamism or Diplomacy? Drive or attention to Detail? Analytical or Creative? Everyone could have the qualification and experience – but not everyone has those specific qualities you’re looking for.

So spend a bit of time to figure out and clarify what specific traits or qualities would be ideal. This alone will help you attract the right people.


2. Strong Culture

Being specific about the traits and qualities of the ideal candidate, coupled with a strong culture will help you to attract the right people.

But most importantly, a strong culture helps hold your team together. I call it the “invisible glue” of any strong team. Every organization, big or small, has a culture. Some call it “core values” but I prefer the term “culture”. It’s “the way we do things here.” A strong culture helps to bond the team together. It represents what’s important to the company and to the team.

Culture is not some pretty words framed up at your reception area. You have to live it, practice it and defend it after you refine and clarify it.


3. An Inspiring Vision

People join and stay with an organization if they can identify with its goals, its purpose, its mission. People who stay on tend to share that common purpose. For example, people who are attracted to join a company like Uber are probably very creative, determined and identify strongly with the company’s vision of reducing carbon emission.

How inspiring is your vision?


4. Roles, Responsibility and Rewards

In high-performing teams, people know exactly what their role is, what their responsibility is, i.e. exactly what is expected of them.

There is no guessing or tripping over one another. New recruits don’t need to guess or figure out what exactly they need to do or how to achieve results. At the same time, if the culture is right, there’s a lot of collaboration and cooperation.

And performance, effort and initiative are monitored, recognized and rewarded. The clearer your goals / KPI’s for each team member, the better they can perform and excel. And when they do, make sure they’re recognized and rewarded.

5. Career Growth and Development

If you have successfully attracted good talent to your company, remember that top people are career-oriented. They place importance on their career growth and development. They look at learning opportunities from their employer and their boss too.

So it’s important that you provide training and development opportunities for your team, especially the top performers. Don’t worry about them leaving after the training. In fact, the opposite is probably true – they’ll leave if you don’t provide any training! Sir Richard Branson says “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”


6. Systems and Process

Do you know that many people leave their job simply because they are so stressed and fed-up with constantly having to deal with issues that keep repeating? They lament about constant fire-fighting – having to do re-work, correct mistakes, rectify problems – all of which could have been avoided in the first place. Also, with systems and processes in place, new hires know how to go about getting things done in the organization. There’s no guesswork or having to keep asking someone for help.

So, have you got systems and processes in place in your business? And, importantly, are these systems and processes being enforced and followed – or are they just being ignored by some team members, causing stress to other departments … ?


7. Open Communication

Finally, ask yourself (and your team) on a scale of 1 -10, how would you rate the Communication in your Company? If it’s ‘7’ or lower, you have some work to do. If it’s 5 or lower, looks like major repair is needed.

Obviously poor communication can lead to all sorts of problems. It ranges from unhappy colleagues and poor cooperation to destructive gossip, unproductive conflicts, poor service delivery and even customer complaints.


Action Step

From the above, it’s clear that building a strong team takes quite a bit of work. What you can do is score yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 for each of these areas and see which is your weakest area. Then start working on that area – because as you know, the team is only as strong as its weakest link.

Get good in each of these seven areas and see your team and your results soar!