A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (“Basic Costs Squeeze Families”) stated that consumers have seen little growth in their wallets and remain skittish with discretionary spending. Of course, if you own a business that depends on people having jobs and disposable income you didn’t need research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to tell you that consumer spending is sluggish. The Black Friday report card was underwhelming, and your calls and foot traffic are down. So, what’s your plan? Take more costs out of the business? My guess is that you’ve already cut expenses to the bone, so here are a couple of reminders to consider in our slow growth economy.
1. Focus on the buying process.
Translation: Make sure you address competitive weaknesses within the four stages of the consumer purchasing process, including:
· Information Search
· Purchase and After-Sale Service.
In addition, you may need to think smaller by breaking marketing initiatives into several highly targeted micro-campaigns based on continuous selection of the best (most profitable) of the best (ready-to-buy).
2. You will not get a do-over, mulligan or practice shot.
Translation: Do your P&L homework upfront and structure your best offer immediately. Don’t hold back; consumers with cash and a willingness to spend it are in short supply right now.
3. Don’t wait to build trust.
Translation: Monitor trigger events such as contract dates and service calls closely. Take time to proactively nurture relationship building conversations. When making contact have something valuable or significant to relate. Social media platforms are an excellent channel to help you and your employee’s listen and engage in conversation.