Hearty mac and cheese. Thick chili in a bread bowl. Dimly lit lights and candles. Calming music. These are just a few of the things I will “indulge” in when I shop these days, simply because they bring me such a sense of comfort and security in a not-so-certain world. Everyone knows that people’s buying preferences ebb and flow like the tide, depending on what the economy is doing or simply what is going on in one’s life. So, do you know what’s going on in your customers’ lives? Their buying behavior might give you a good indication. Are they looking for that one nugget that is guaranteed to give them a positive return on their investment? Have they reduced their quantity of inventory but increased its quality? Buying behaviors clearly change with economic shifts and chances are that, during this tough economy, your customers are buying what may provide them security. Security in the fact that they will continue to receive valuable, reliable service and products from you as a great price. Security to them may mean that you’re still answering your phone and emails – that the fact that you’re secure and successful gives them a place to go to in times of uncertainty. Now is the time to reach out to your customers and find out what calms their fears – then make sure you provide that outlet for them.