So what businesses grew out of the tough 1930s? Perhaps the humble cough drop can inspire us.
In the 1930s Halls invented its Mentho-Lyptus formula, using a combination of menthol and eucalyptus, and began producing its popular cough drops. The brand is currently owned by Cadbury .
Halls products though are sold differently depending where you are.
The northern hemisphere knows them as a cold relief product with licensed medical status in the USA , Canada and the UK. Whilst in hotter drier climates they are sold as mouth refreshment .
(Maybe we can sell our existing products and services to different market segments likewise.)
Currently Halls menthol lozenges have a series of huge posters on the Cromwell Road / Warwick Road site of Clear Channel, London suggesting whatever 2012 holds we can all take a deep breath to engage with the challenges of the new year by sucking on their cough drops.
A double dip recession is an especially tough business reality check. The shock of the first dip will have been an uncomfortable experience to many who had only known selling in the 18 years of previous uninterrupted growth.
They may have had a few colleagues in their team (quite possibly not their team leader) who sold in the last double dip recession (1980s), and whose brains they could pick but such experience was quite rare.
The Cost cutting in the first dip has had to be brutal and sometimes businesses have cut through the bone and into the marrow.The low hanging fruit have all been picked.
The smart salespeople realised that the comforts of account management and relationship selling would not see them through so it was time to adapt or die.
|One of the Halls Menthol lyptus cough sweets campaign on posters in UK Jan 2012|
Whilst soothsaying pundits wonder whether their predictions for 2012 will turn out right, those of us in the proactive realities of selling just have to get on wth it or as the English idiom goes ' suck it and see'.
Maybe we can be helped along by a soothing Halls cough drop!
Event report of Planning for Success 2012