Successful sales strategies for tough times
3 September 2008
Expert shows Kiwi businesses successful sales strategies for tough times
New Zealand managers aged under forty are likely experiencing a recession for the first time. After years of steady economic growth, the current slowdown may have many unsure of how to safeguard cashflows when times are tight. Should they, for example, cut their prices?
Business profitability expert Graham Foster says that doing so is just about the worst thing that business owners and managers could do; arguing that it can be the beginning of a slippery slope that can lead to even greater troubles. Instead, he suggests a more positive focus.
“Businesses should increase sales and prices where they can in good times. In tough times sales volume will be cut by a tighter marketplace – the answer then is to reduce costs, not prices,” he says.
“If you decrease your prices, the amount of extra selling you have to do just to get to where you were previously increases significantly – even more so if you have bad debt or if creditors aren’t paying. Slashing prices reduces profits, and discounting too much will produce losses, no matter how much you sell.”
“Cutting your costs can be tough and selling in a recession requires unique sales skills, but you’ve got to be prepared to sail in rough weather. The good times always come back – a recession in New Zealand averages 18 months so managers just have to make sure they are making the right moves to ensure they get through it successfully.”
Foster will visit New Zealand in October to provide such insights to Kiwi businesspeople in person via a series of workshops he will present as part of The Knowledge Gym’s programme of Knowledge Workouts, which makes coaching from top business achievers and mentors from around the world available to local business leaders.
“Many businesses lose significant amounts of money unnecessarily, simply because executives don’t understand the basic principles of ‘money maths’ and how it impacts upon their business.”
“A few simple tools can mean the difference between those businesses that get through an economic downturn successfully and profitably and those that don’t.” Emphasising that managers must never forget that the primary goal of any business is to increase the wealth of its owners, at the workshops to be held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Foster will explore the elements of finance, marketing, production, and support functions and present a balanced profit-based model for the successful enterprise.
Attempting to gain market share through price and cost cutting is a popular strategy – though, in Foster’s view, a short-sighted one. Using his straightforward and easy-to-follow examples, he effectively demonstrates why companies need to focus instead on margin when pricing their products or services. He shares proven techniques for balancing your selling and management efforts, bullet-proofing your bottom line, enabling sales reps to sell higher, and surviving and recovering from price wars.
Offering powerful business lessons on how to optimise profitability while sharpening your competitive edge, this workshop is a timely reinforcement of key business principles that Kiwi business owners and executives can’t afford to miss.
Graham Foster is an internationally acclaimed bottom-line expert and corporate sales strategist, based in both Australia and the United States. A frequent guest on radio and television shows in Australia and abroad, Graham’s appearance on hit US TV show Good Morning America led to significant success in the American market. Author of The Power of Positive Profits, Graham has served as CEO and Marketing Director of several major international companies - each with a turnover of up to $1,500M. As a professional speaker, Graham has shared his easy-to-implement, proven strategies in almost 4,000 presentations in 44 countries.
The Knowledge Gym provides New Zealand businesspeople with key insights and coaching from top business achievers and mentors from around the world. For more information on The Knowledge Gym’s programme of ‘Knowledge Workouts’ and their other initiatives to expand your business know-how, or to register for Graham’s presentation, please visit www.theknowledgegym.com