There’s a lot of talk, at least in Silicon Valley, about how much better the economy is than it has been in several years. And in certain pockets and among certain demographics at least, that’s true.

But the question “how do you sell in a down economy?” remains relevant, because not everything is roaring back.  Jill Konrath,  who is well-known for her commonsense advice, suggests that you make sure your existing customers are happy.

For sales and non-sales types alike, that means reaching out to them right now, perhaps by email or phone call. (I don’t think this is something you want to do on LinkedIn or Facebook unless it’s a private message, but you know your customers better than I do.)

You want to let customer know that you value your relationship and ask if there’s anything you can do to make things better. Ms. Konrath suggests you think about ways to help them become more efficient or profitable and also seek out business with other parts of their enterprise.

In my view, the “reaching out” conversation—even if you’re just leaving a voicemail message—must be scripted. You don’t want to stumble around verbally when you’re trying to reinforce your clients’ satisfaction with your service or their confidence in you. You want to sound friendly and businesslike but never needy. So write something and get others’ input. Then practice it until it sounds natural.

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