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Beating a Recession – 8 December 10, 2008

Posted by David Dirks in Innovation: Not Just for the Big Dogz, Recession: How to Beat It!, Retailer Store Strategies, Sales Strategy/Tactics.
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David DirksI’m always on the prowl for ideas that can help combat the economic slowdown.  Here are two that I think are more than worth considering:

  • Become a disruptor in your industry or business. Creating products, services, or processes that disrupt your competition and put them on the defensive is a sure way to create market differentiation.  As I always say, the key to any Big Dogz performance is how effectively they differentiate themselves, in a positive manner, from their competitors.  Apple’s iPhone is a great example of a disruptive product.  Who would have thought that a computer company would introduce a product platform that not only is superior to its competition, but has the ability to disrupt the entire cell phone industry?

Another excellent example is a firm called Axiom.  Axiom is a disrupter in the rather tradition-bound law field.  What makes Axiom a disrupter?  It’s how they have harnessed the internet to create a web-based law firm.  Their attorney’s do not work from dark, hardwood-paneled offices.  Rather, they work from their homes.  The Axiom model hires the best attorneys from some of the top law firms in the country and gives them the freedom to work with clients in a web-based environment.  What value do their clients get?  Well, because they have dramatically lower operating costs compared to a traditional highpowered law firm, they can offer their services at rates that can be 50% lower than those charged by traditional, office-bound law firms.

How can you create products, services, or business processes that can create disruption in your field?

  • Empower your sales team to offer discounts on products and/or services, ON THE SPOT. For most retailers and service firms, this would give you heartburn.  Just the thought of empowering your peeps to give an on the spot discount probably gives you the jeebies.  However, there is a method to this seeming madness.  Note:  I’m NOT suggesting that your sales teams ask a customer if they want a discount.  That doesn’t work.  Rather, this is about helping a client who asks about a discount (“yes, I can give you 10% if you order this today”) or is on the fence teetering in the direction of a buy and needs just a little prompting.

Empowering your sales teams to offer a specified discount (I was only using 10% as an example…you can make it whatever you can afford) cuts through the red tape and can possibly save a sale that might otherwise walk out the door.   Customers today want a ‘deal’.  Empower your people to give it to them.  When the good times were here not long ago, you might not have worried about losing those kinds of sales.  The good times are gone.  But you already knew that.



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