Thursday, February 26, 2009

Adjusting to New Realities

For our company, we have been in this recession for four months. In the past because of our customer base and longevity of our sales team, we have gotten used to steady streams of business. Last November when that stream began to dry up, it took a little while to come to the realization that it was not just a blip on the screen.

When we concluded that most, if not all, of our projects would have to be aggressively gone after, our sales team stepped up to the challenge. We are now beginning to reap some of the benefits of the added intensity we have given to our sales activities.

In hindsight, which unfortunately I don't have, we should have taken up the intensity four months ago and we would be in better shape today. I guess I will have to remember that when the next 100 year downturn happens.

Happy Selling.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Still Opportunity

There is still opportunity to grow and add new business, even during a recession. One of our sales people has opened three new accounts this year and all three of these accounts should yield enough business to be top a 25 account. Obviously this has been an upbeat outcome for him.

These accounts came about in three different ways. One he has been cultivating for over two years. One he has been calling on for under six months. And one was a unique call in opportunity for a company that is moving from another state to our state.

All three of these accounts came from different avenues. This shows me, and all of our sales people, that there is still hope in the world. We just have to get out and do the fundamentals. We have to make calls.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

SMART goals are goals that have the following five characteristics.

S - specific
M - measurable
A - attainable
R - realistic
T - time bound

This year every person in our company has a personal development program that consists of at least four goals that relate to his/her job and one goal that is a personal education goal. These five goals have to pass the SMART test and they are then part of a quarterly review.

The goals are also related to the companies Strategic Plan, so we have about one hundred people all working towards a defined plan. We believe this is going to make a positive difference in 2009. Even with all the bad we hear and read about, there are some good things to discuss.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How Much Longer?

How much longer will we be dealing with this downturn? One person I read stated a normal recession lasts seven to eleven months, so the average of that would be nine months. For our business, we noticed the slow down three month ago, so we may be a third through the pain. Others have stated a less optimistic outlook.

Regardless of how long this recession lasts, I have to do my job. In a local paper about a month ago there was an article about a local CEO of a large steel company. He said that his advice was to come to work, keep a positive outlook and go out and develop new business. Even though this was simple advice it sure makes sense. It's easy to spend time each day talking down the economy and complaining about how hard things are, but that doesn't cause any improvement.

Our job this year is to stay upbeat and develop new business.