173. Solutions for a Stalling Economy

Routine Down-Turn Tactics Plus (?)

The global economy is slowing down. Will you freeze investments, do cost trimming and wait for the next upturn? With what future hopes? To get back to mediocre profits with hopes that:

  • Amazon will stop innovating and imposing digital-commerce imperatives upon you?
  • The wave of incoming millennial, digital, B2B buyers will change and embrace regular calls from old-school reps?

Or, will you follow “The Pumpkin Plan”?

Great Pumpkin (Plan) Wisdom

A clever book, “The Pumpkin Plan”, by Michalowicz advises you to grow your best customers like record pumpkins are grown. (World record: 2624 pounds.) For more search for – “The Pumpkin Plan” – at youtube. Watch the author’s 75-second pep pitch and then perhaps his 48-minute, how-to clip.

For a variation on a strategic theme, Click Here to find my clips on how to identify the 3% of your customers that are “Gazelles”. Companies that are perpetual innovators; faster-growing, and open-minded, can-do operators; partner them, and they will grow you.

How and What To Pitch for Gazelles?

Reps calling on buyers in silos (even at Gazelles) cannot together see and rethink an existing buy-sell “system”.

Instead, a team led by a titled honcho must:

  1. Analyze past activity for “friction”. (Customer profitability analytics at the line-level reveals this.)
  2. Do an on-site tour following both your product and paper flow through the customer’s premise. List people’s frustrations and structural inefficiencies.
  3. Then, offer their honcho (in charge of total procurement systems) some free improvement solutions with requests for more category spend.

It’s the “Challenger Sale” (+) Chrysler’s SCORE Program

Two books – “The Challenger Sale” (’11); and “The Challenger Customer” (’15) – explain that sellers, who challenge customers to change how they buy for better total economics, do much better (statistically) than nice-guy rep-selling. And, Gazelles are especially open to system improvements during economic downturns.

You will be proactively pitching Chrysler’s SCORE plan. In the early ‘90’s, GM brutally squeezed suppliers led by a new VP of Purchasing, Jose Ignacio Lopez. Chrysler simultaneously announced SCORE. Those suppliers that could recommend system-wide cost-improvements, would get more business. It was a huge, all-win success.

Don’t wait for customers to request free, system consulting; proactively offer it to Gazelles. And, while co-creating these solutions, co-create digital and e-selling solutions with their millennial buyers. Then, Gazelles will grow you through thick and thin.

More Help for This Journey? 

For a detailed how-to document, download my Core Customer Renewal Roadmap 

Then, contact me for a free virtual-session for your management team to cover both the Roadmap and the supporting analytics. (bruce@merrifield.com)

Finally, for existing Waypoint clients, I will be a whatever-you-want-to-know/do session in Phoenix on November 7th. Link below: 

WayPoint Institute 2019