Last week I conducted a seminar for the Industrial Round Table of the Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce. Our theme was ‘We refuse to participate in the recession – how about you?’ I partnered with Jim McClintock a sales training coach with The Training Center in Chagrin Falls. We both spoke about the sales and marketing process and how important that the sales and marketing departments always talk with each other. Jim presented on why the sales process is more important in tough economic times and how to get more closure while increasing value. I spoke on the need to keep your marketing efforts strong and ways marketing can assist and create new and better sales leads. The industrial manufacturing sector of the economy is still strong especially in the B to B arena. The reaction from participants echoed this thought as well.
Here is a comment I received after the presentation:
Thanks for the presentation you and Jim made at the Industrial Roundtable last week. The information presented gave me a different perspective on the recession. It’s easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom of the recession but the idea that we shouldn’t accept that attitude and instead continue to make sales calls made sense. I also thought the idea that we had to be prepared for a longer sales process made sense. I think we sometimes get discouraged if the sales don’t close in the amount of time to which we are accustomed. But I know I deliberate more when I spend any money now. The direct marketing campaigns were also very interesting. With the sales environment becoming more competitive we do have to find a way to stand out from the crowd. The examples you showed did exactly that for your customers. The typical marketing materials that have been used in the past won’t accomplish that. All-in-all the presentation gave me a new perspective on how to approach the recession and survive.
I also enjoyed the discussion afterwards about other topics that would be helpful to the industrial companies. I think the group came up with some good ideas. It also made me realize that we’re all facing the same issues. I’m looking forward to future roundtables.
My advice for 2009 is to not look back at 2008, but keep forging ahead for the future is waiting for those who will grab those opportunities.
Happy and more prosperous New Year.