To sell in a tough economy you have to be creative. Being creative means doing things differently. It means being a contrarian and thinking outside of the box. When companies and people aren’t buying, relying on SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) will cause a slow death. Creativity is another word for innovation. To move your products, to get buyers attention, and to get your share of what is being spent you need to be innovative.
Leaders innovate, followers copy. During economic downturns there isn’t enough to go around. You have to be a leader, as there isn’t enough for the followers.
Hyundai is a leader. Early in 2009 they launched an innovative program offering to take back any new car if the owner lost their income. Hyundai understood the barrier to new car sales and came up with a creative way to combat it. Did it work? I’d say so. While the rest of the car industry tanked, Hyundai was able to stay almost flat.
Not only did it work, Hyundai increase it’s U.S. market share by .5% in one month.
Score: Creativity – 1, Status Quo – 0
If you want to make it in sales during these tough times, you should be thinking differently. There is no way to be successful doing the same old things. Being creative means looking at the problem differently. It means asking different questions. Being creative accepts there are different ways of doing things. Many times it means taking a contrarian view. Being creative says, you recognize what you’ve normally done may not work and you need to make changes.
The most difficult part of being creative or innovative is it is different. It takes you out of your comfort zone. To many companies, and to many people, being creative and taking contrarian views is risky and is putting your neck out there. What many fail to recognize is that in times like these your neck is already out there.
If you want to save your neck, get creative.