What New Skills Will You Need to Succeed in the New Economy?
"This changes everything." That is one way of looking at the perfect storm of the faltering economy, the technological revolution, full-scale globalization, values shift and generational changes that have come together all at once. Not only have the rules changed, but the game is changed. Here are six new skills that are required of you to play in this New Economy.
1) Shift from product sales to idea sales to program sales to process sales. What does that mean? It means that if you've been making your living by showing and selling product, you're going to want to learn a few new steps to dance to. Product sales focuses on the stuff. It is all about the client having a pre-existing need and delivering a product to fill the need. Moving to idea sales, you identify a client need—perhaps one they weren't even aware of—and deliver a product-based solution, including a way to distribute and measure. You've just moved from need fulfillment to need creation.
When you move to program selling, you are holding product and ideas accountable to a goal, using promotional techniques such as consumer promotions, incentive programs, safety programs or employee retention and recognition. When you move up to process selling, you are getting deep into the needs and methods of operation of your client. You are tailoring your solutions to work with their operations to save them money, to make their operation run more smoothly and to become an indespensible member of their team.
2) Learn to think in terms of collaboration rather than competition. When you are thinking in terms of what best solves your client's needs, you may realize that you can help them the most by sticking with what you do best. Find and collaborate with their other agencies, including your competition, to create the most powerful pool of talent and expertise. Learn to respect and trust and you may be surprised how it comes right back to you in equal measure.