As we are approaching the
21st Century and consider the hard realities we have had to face in doing business
today, we may wonder how we will be able to stay ahead of the game in the future.
We've experienced the dawning of a global economy that has been characterized
by rapid change and an unprecedented level of competitiveness. New markets and
customer bases have been created overnight with thousands more to come in the
Globalization means we will
eventually market our products and services everywhere in the world. This new
global marketplace will operate 24 hours a day where we will need to sell and
compete around the clock. The challenge for us will be that as we market our
products and services, we will encounter new and different competition we may
not have expected in the past.
Technology has enabled smaller
companies to compete very effectively with larger businesses. Just as a small
speedboat has the ability of running fast circles around the Queen Mary, many
small companies now have the advantage over large companies because they are
not encumbered by political decisions, committees, and layers of management
that large organizations have.
Technology has leveled the
playing field because it is has given many smaller businesses the ability to
communicate and manufacture more rapidly. And as businesses in developing countries
progress, they will increase the competition in the playing field.
In addition, our customers
have become more cost conscious and demanding than ever. The customer of the
future will be better educated, more discriminating, and because of the Internet,
will be even better informed than ever before.
All these change factors
have caused us to seek answers to one important question:
Who will be able to compete and win in the new millennium?
Those organizations will
be able to compete and win whom...
- Can outdistance their
current and future competitors with innovation...
Creativity in the way
you market and sell your products will be the key to success in the future.
"Differentiating" your company from the competition is crucial. If what
you sell or offer is not much different then what you competition sells
or offers, how will you stand out in the well-informed mind of the 21st
Century customer if you don't advertise, market and service differently
- Are willing to take
calculated risks to introduce new features and innovative products to the
marketplace that their customers are demanding.
Focusing on the voice
of the customer will breed success. Every time your customer says, "Why
don't you..." or "What can't you..." will be the message that you must make
changes to meet customer demands.
- Have a "Quality"
There was a time in
American business when Quality was thought of in terms of the final product.
In the 21st Century, buyers will look for Quality in all aspects of the
business process: how the product is conceived, how it is developed, how
it is marketed, and how it gets to their doorstep. Most important, how it
is serviced after the purchase.
- Develop customer
relationships and establish a reputation for outstanding customer service.
Customers are the life-blood
of any enterprise. The people in your organization must exhibit behaviors
and actions that help build customer loyalty. A strong focus for developing
and sustaining customer relationships is, and will always be the key to
success. With this, there must be a sense of urgency to solve any customer
service problems that may exist in your organization today.
- Learn faster than
The successful organization
of the future will be a learning organization. There is now, and will be
an even more dramatic need for new skills, not only technical, but better
leadership and interpersonal skills.
- Utilize technology
in the right way.
We must keep up with
technology. We must make sure our employees spend time on the Web to study
their industry, learn about their customers, and to check out the competition.
Many salespeople today are spending all their time sending E-mail to each
other, which is not the best use of the Internet.
Your customers should
not have to work to order your product. Make it easy for them to place orders
over the Internet. If you don't, your competitors may steal the market right
out from under you.
- "Rethink their entire
must rethink their entire business strategy. They need to look at the way
they create products and services, their distribution channels, markets,
customers, structure and knowledge base. Technology will be both the driver
and the tool for this examination.
professionals will be able to compete and win whom...
- Can clearly define
their product, its benefits, and the benefits of doing business with their
Remember: As we move
into the 21st Century, communication is key. We should be able to communicate
with confidence people WHY they should do business with you, WHY your product
and service is superior, and WHY they can depend on your company.
- Under promise/Over
Being up front with
customers from day one and overwhelming them with incredible service will
provide the competitive edge in the 21st Century.
- Hone their sales skills.
To survive in the fast-moving
business world of the 21st Century, mastering and continuously improving
sales skills will breed success. Those who use creativity in their approach
to sales will see their sales goals reach new heights.
Today's business world is
filled with people seeking answers to the "Who will be able to compete and win?"
question. Those organizations and individuals, who pay attention to these elements
of future success, will not only thrive, but "Survive as the Finest in the 21st