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What A Year!

Since my partner in crime, Jim Smith, opened this issue by cleaning out hisfiles, I’m going to belabor one point in particular – How about this economy?

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What A Year!

Since my partner in crime, Jim Smith, opened this issue by cleaning out his
files, I’m going to belabor one point in particular – How about this economy?
You had to know this bubble was eventually going to burst.  A good 10 years of continued growth eventually has to take a breather. So don’t worry, our next growth spurt is just around the corner – in about the next 12 or 14 months.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that it doesn’t take that long. 
What’s amazing to me is that it only took our government until Nov. 30, to officially admit that we have entered a recession. Their timing is incredible! Earlier this year the government and Alan Greenspan made reference to our economy being in “an inventory-led correction.”  What the hell is that? I’ll tell you what it means in simple terms – Plenty of Supply But Little Demand. In plain terms, a recession.
Analysts should forget about Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle when looking at specific companies to gauge if the economy is growing or slowing. Based on the auto industry’s GDP contribution, Detroit, in my estimation, still offers the best yardstick.
As big and lordly as it is, Microsoft, only creates about one-sixth of 1% of the GDP. And they are the biggest tech player. But for 2000, Microsoft posted sales of just $23 billion, compared to Ford’s $170 billion.
The NA auto industry considers annual production of a 16.8 million vehicles to be a decent year. Output will dip well below that pace for 2001. In fact, North American output for this calendar year is approaching 15.13 million vehicles, down 11.3% from 2000’s pace. 
Other no-brainer indicator from Detroit that should have tipped our government off: the exploding number of sales incentives offered, production cuts, and slow showroom traffic. 
And, oh yeah, before I forget, the most valuable Detroit economic indicator – the number of U.S. citizens visiting the Canadian Ballet (Jason’s) is down nearly 15%. Doesn’t anyone have a heart for those who go without clothing? So hold out while Dr. Moniz prescribes some solid bed rest for this economy.
In the meantime, let’s get your business jump started with a home remedy that’ll fight the recession blues. We can’t all hire a consultant to point our business in the right direction, but we can look at Jay Abraham’s book of tips. Jay is the founder of the Abraham Group, a California-based consultant that has helped over 10,000 companies in 400 different industries.
Forbes named him one of the nation’s top five executive coaches. Based on his hourly fee of $5,000, he must be good. Plus a participative deal tying his compensation to a company’s success, including profit sharing and a performance bonus, he certainly qualifies.
Abraham points to the fact that “many firms have forgotten how to react in hard times – it’s not business as usual.” 
So let’s go to Jay’s good book of tips to maximize your company’s sales effort. Here’s seven of his wealth-creating strategies.
1. Maximize performance – Most people don’t look at the business they’re currently involved with to perform better. Look at time, effect, people and expense. Get more clients, and get more yield from those clients. Get them to buy more things more often.
2. Get in touch with inactive buyers – Most companies have a higher level of customer inactivity or attrition than they realize. Common sense dictates that it’s easier to reactivate an inactive buyer than find new ones.
3. Develop a maximization system – Maximize your efforts with the most zealous customers. They’re the quickest sales. They negotiate the least, buy most often and are generally a pleasure to deal with. Identify these people and work with them closely.
4. Target your competition – Weaker competitors hold a solid database of prospects that you can raid.
5. Educate the market – Give prospects and clients reasons why they need your products and services. Help them appreciate you. It’s the strategy of pre-eminence. Fall in love with the client and the client’s well being. Take on the role as trusted adviser.
6. Examine the net worth of your client base – Bring in clients who’s business improves your bottom line. 
7. Lower the barrier of entry – Make it easier to do business with your company. Induce people to start a buying relationship and sustain it so it grows. Then, work to add new products and services.
Abraham’s suggestions allow you to become the doctor and prescribe remedies that can revitalize your efforts to get the numbers up. Go for it! 
Hope you and your families have a happy holiday season. 

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