A Positive Side to a Difficult Economy!

by David Brealey

As we are all aware, the economic climate is not conducive to high sales figures, even relatively moderate sales.

So, what are the requirements to keep our heads above water and to sow seeds for the future? Obviously America’s and European markets are suffering more from the present situation, which is typical of countries which had relatively low growth rates to start with, however even in these times there are opportunities, especially against high priced competition and inefficient suppliers.

Considering these conditions, the obvious choice for increasing sales would be in countries and markets that;

  1. Still have significantly higher growth rates albeit slower than it was,
  2. We do not have a reasonable market share using similar application products
  3. The competition is typically high priced European products
  4. Have traditional competitors selling through inefficient distributors.
  5. New applications through performance testing and approvals.

There are several countries around the world that offer significant opportunities as well as some local industries that offer niche market sales presently not being serviced by the major oil companies or by distributors with inefficient capabilities.

In support of a successful sales effort it is important we document and utilize Proof of Performance, Cost saving exercises and Reference information to the fullest, optimizing the potential for success, not necessarily working harder, just smarter.

Wherever distant distributors are involved, the tendency, especially in our type of market, is to employ purely sales people and lose focus on the service side of the business, which in our case is part and parcel.

This fortunately is where we can succeed in turning a potential customer. The time and effort required sometimes to secure this type of deal can be long and considerable, not the way sales or distributors like to operate, however, when dealing with mechanically minded customers as opposed to purchasing agents a basic knowledge of the equipment and its operating quirks is obviously an added advantage, and to be considered experts in this industry (which we are) goes much further.

Only those that are properly trained and/or assisted by the manufacturer will succeed, the rest will slowly drop by the wayside.

In these troubled times we have to be at our best, use what we have to its maximum effect. Concentrate on teamwork within the company to utilize the mine of expertise and information we have to its fullest.

Assist wherever possible to obtain new business opportunities in each other’s divisions or areas. Communicate our successes and achievements to end users, head offices and OEM’s to build stronger relationships thus increasing the potential for new, or assisting in maintaining business.