If you’re like me, you keep hearing how the economy is on the mend. Yet, it always seems to be followed by weak job performance.
So the question is – if the economy is improving, then where are all the jobs?
Well there may be good news on the horizon. In a recent CNNMoney.com article, it was reported that the number of employers planning to hire workers over the next six months exceeded the number expecting job cuts for the first time since the recession began in December 2007.
As with most recessions, we see people leaving more traditional jobs for the self-employed business model. Unfortunately, many people are forced to do this as there are just no jobs available. Is this a good or bad thing? We don’t know. But it does make for increased competition among the self-employed.
So, how do you approach prospects now that there may be increased competition?
In an earlier blog post I covered how to sell in a recession. Today, I’d like to explore how to stand out in a competitive economic climate.
Technology – It’s very important to keep abreast of the latest technologies, especially those that might assist you in your job. You don’t have to keep up on all the latest tricks and tools, but you should be aware of technologies that are changing your industry. Look for innovations that allow you to better perform the tasks at hand while saving time in the process. New technology doesn’t have to come at a huge expense. With today’s open source technology, new software is available at little to no cost.
Get Noticed – This doesn’t mean you have to be “out of character” by being someone that you’re not. There are simple but effective ways to get noticed. Rather than give out a traditional business card, why not try provide your contact information on hand written Post-It notes. They are inexpensive, come in a variety of colors and sizes, and best of all your contacts will (literally) have your info at their finger tips. At WTTC.com, we’ve given away calendar strips with our information for the past several years. They’re inexpensive and people can stick them to their computers or laptops. People ask us when we’re sending them out. By the way, I rarely (if ever) get a business card request.
Of course, social networking is another good way to get noticed. Make sure you do your homework first — and that means “listening” and “lurking” to get a feel for the conversation — and your contacts will grow.
Follow-Up. Follow-Up. Follow-Up – This is often the number one reason why sales are lost. With today’s technology, there’s really no reason for not following-up. There are many Web-based CRM (client relationship management) software applications out there to choose from. Determine what you’re needs are and then invest some time and research in finding a good CRM … then use it!
My final word.
Keep your head-up as all signs suggest that the worst is behind us. It’s going to take perseverance and discipline, but it will pay off.