Driving Sales in Tough Times

While marketing is always important, it becomes crucial to survival when times are slow. Yet for many solutions providers, the urge to conserve cash during an economic downturn trumps the desire to generate sales leads. So just how can a VAR continue its demand generation efforts in the face of a shrinking marketing budget?

One place to start is by looking at their existing customer database and asking what existing or new products and services can be sold to current customers. According to ChannelCorp , selling products/services to existing customers requires only half as much cash per incremental dollar of sales as selling the same products/services to new customers. Plus this business is likely to be immediately profitable, versus the 12 to 18 months it takes for ‘new’ customers to become profitable.

Another is for VARs to fully embrace ‘new’ media. They can add blogs or podcasts to their websites. Join and participate in professional networking sites such as LinkedIn . And even post product videos to YouTube and other such sites.

For those VARs more comfortable with ‘traditional’ marketing methods such as print advertising, telemarketing, and direct mail — or who simply wish to complement and reinforce their other marketing efforts — many manufacturers offer low- or no-cost co-marketing materials. Professionally designed and often customizable with the VAR’s logo and value proposition, these materials are a fast and economical way to promote specific products, solutions, and services.

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