Here are couple more ways how you could manage products in an economic downturn. This assumes that you have enough cash in the bank to stay in business in the midst of slow sales.
1) Can your product help customers do things in a new way: Can your product help the customer do the task in a whole new different way? For example, designing products in 3D was a complete paradigm shift from using AutoCAD and allowed customers to do larger number of iterations, reduce design errors and hence scrap, all in less time than what it took to do it in AutoCAD – not only did this save time and money, but the ability to do larger number of iterations also resulted in better and safer products. Is your product one of such products? If yes, make sure your sales is equipped to make a convincing pitch to buyers that closes the sale.
2) Take the time to shore up your product: Hey, customers are not buying, hence lesser pressure to add all those features customers have requested. Why not take the time to implement those performance and usability enhancements you have been wanting to do for a long time? Now there is time to do these things and less rush to get products out. What better time to shore up the existing product and do some house cleaning.
3) Create content: Use this slow time to create some great content that will educate your customers/prospects about your product segment. Keep them engaged so that when the economy does turn around, you are fresh in their minds. Creating good content costs a whole lot less than saying doing print ads in a magazine (even if they are currently available at discounted prices). Good content helps your customer get better at what they do. It is not product talk, but essentially providing solutions to their day-to-day issues. You never pop the question – do you want to buy from me, but instead give, give, give. It is amazing how you can create quality content armed with just a camcorder. Quantity is more important than quality (think Youtube quality). Then make sure this content gets found online by search engines.
Do you have any other advice? How are you managing products in the current economy?
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