Ten Methods to Track Market Trends
Part of a series of articles looking at Sales and Management Solutions from Midlands-based Sandler Training. Written by Managing Director, Martin Hall.
A sure way to miss your market as a salesperson is to assume that your customers will want tomorrow what they want today. One day there will no longer be a market for that hot product or service your selling today. Will you be the first to recognise that change?
One day a new market may emerge to gobble up that outdated inventory or treasure, that old-fashioned service you’re ready to give up on. Will you be the first to recognise that trend? The suggestions here will keep you on the leading edge of your markets by building your ‘Market Quotient’.
- Spend at least three hours a week reading magazines and journals that report general market trends - Consider: The Times, Business Matters, Talk Business
- If you sell to a specific industry, read its trade magazines . Discover emerging trends even before your customers experience them.
- Follow people on Twitter who are strong in your sectors. Experience first hand what people are talking about, what’s on-trend and what is interesting to your customers right now.
- Subscribe to newsletters in your field. Most publications pay staff to track trends. Let them earn their money.
- Set up a monthly ‘Trend Watch’ lunch with colleagues . Gather once a month with peers to check perceptions, validate assumptions, develop insights, share market information, and test your sense of market reality.
- Attend meetings of your trade association. Attend these meetings as if you were a dry sponge. Soak up as much information from as many sources as you can. Attend sessions, participate in roundtables, network over meals.
- Subscribe to services that provide industry-or market-specific data gathering If you are selling to a large industry or market, there’s a company somewhere collecting data from that industry or market and selling it to people like you.
- Talk with salespeople outside your industry. Tracking trends is nothing more than acquiring competitive intelligence. Salespeople who deal with the public on a daily basis, even if they’re not in your market, are sources of valuable insight. Invite some of them to your ‘Trend Watch’ lunch (#5 in this list).
- Talk with your customers . Ask customers how they see their tomorrows. The hope, uncertainty, and anxiety they express foretell the future. Their concerns and their anticipations may point to a prospective opportunity for you.
- Open you eyes, ears, and mind. On the way home from the hospital a frightened new mother confided to her mom that she had no idea how to take care of her baby. The mother’s advise was simple: “Study your baby. She will show you what to do”. That is the best advise to a trend watcher. Study your market. It will show you what to do.