With the end of financial year recovery in sight, it will be vital to kick-start customer response with an active development program.
- 1. Take your whole team out for a BNYB (Brand New Year Brekky) at a smart golf club venue (or an out of town location) with a 10-foot putting competition that launches your focus on future success. Give rewards to everyone who sinks a putt and another chance to those who don’t until everyone gets the mid-year momentum.
- 2. Identify the prime prospects for the coming year and make sure that they get an end of financial year note that encourages them to be optimistic by telling them that Morgan Research shows that households are regaining confidence and that now is a good time to buy:
“Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence has jumped 5.4pts to 115.7 — its highest level for three months since February 11/12, 2012 (115.7) after Treasurer Wayne Swan delivered the Federal Budget last Tuesday night. Despite an initially cool reaction to the Federal Budget — a special telephone Morgan Poll conducted last week showed 25% of Australian electors rated the Budget as ‘Bad’ and a further 43% rated the Budget as ‘Average’ compared to only 19% who rated the Budget as ‘Good’, the generous concessions to Australian families appear to have boosted Consumer Confidence a week after the RBA slashed interest rates by 0.5%.
“The biggest boost to Consumer Confidence came as increasing numbers of Australians (33%, up 6%) said they expect ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next twelve months while only 18% (down 4%) expect ‘bad times’ for the Australian economy over the next five years — the lowest since October 29/30, 2011 — just before the RBA commenced a rate cutting cycle. The positive reaction to the Budget is reinforced by the strong fall in Australians saying they are ‘worse off’ financially than this time last year (27%, down 6%) — the lowest this measure has been since February 12/13, 2011, more than a year ago.”
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- 3. Review business and marketing plans in the light of the emerging consumer optimism and ensure that your advertising and promotion efforts are directed towards generating a new raft of business growth. It will be essential to build market awareness now for sales later.
- 4. Create a vivid picture in your mind of how the business will expand into either a new territory or a new section of the communities of interest to your company. Incorporate this image as part of your daily routine and use this picture to encourage staff and friends to become ambassadors for your operations. Give out ambassador certificates for every new referral and send letters of thanks to new customers.
- 5. Set up your own concierge club that lets customers contact you on their mobiles to get advice on how to make better use of the products and services purchased from you. Sales shut doors, but service keeps them open to further developments,
- 6. Then establish a mid-year service centre that is offered to every customer from the past couple of years to see if they want to upgrade or replace items.
- 7. Next contact each supplier to see what’s on their business horizon and encourage them to offer pre-launch demonstrations at your mid-year service centre.
- 8. Go mobile and online with “come ‘n’ try” promotions that offer online access to your mid-year special offers and get together offers (not discounts on price but discounts on volumes).
- 9. Then invite suppliers to contribute to a “come ‘n’ try” promotional campaign in online promotions and stories about what’s new that rewards referral of friends and other visitors to the mid-year sessions.
- 10. Finally, write a personal note to your best customers inviting them to a cheese and champagne celebration with your top team who are promoting a productive, prosperous new financial year,
Growth in yields and dividends will be higher than rates of revenue increases for the first half of the financial year. This makes it imperative for smart companies to take some fast steps to success to encourage market recovery and consumer optimism.
Dr Colin Benjamin is an entrepreneurship and strategic thinking consultant at Marshall Place Associates, which offers a range of strategic thinking tools that open up a universe of new possibilities for individuals and organisations committed to applying the processes of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Colin is also a member of the global Association of Professional Futurists.