The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: February 10, 2010

Shorten & Strengthen the Selling Cycle

This article provides a tool for managers to use with their salespeople to improve project management skills and ensure no customer commitments fall through the cracks.

As a "good sales manager," I jumped in to help a salesperson prepare for a joint call that we were scheduled to make on a key account. We defined the call objective, went through the pre-call planning process, the anticipation of questions and objections from the customer, and role-played the "what if," in anticipation of the perfect sales call.

The proposal was flawless, the value proposition was sure to help the customer reach their goals, and the timing could not have been better. We went into the call with high expectations and excitement about the positive outcome that we were sure to get. After greeting the customer, and before we began to talk …

Stanley Works-Black & Decker Merger Stays on Track

The proposed merger between tool manufacturers Black & Decker, Towson, MD, and The Stanley Works, New Britain, CT, continues to make progress, with the deal remaining on track for closing by the end of the first quarter or early in the second quarter, according to Black & Decker CEO Nolan Archibald. The shareholder vote for both companies has been set for March 12.

While specific collaboration is prohibited until the merger closes, integration teams have been put into place to "ensure that we achieve the synergies" available from the joint company, Stanley CEO John Lundgren said during the company's fourth quarter earnings call. Fourteen teams were created to help integrate the various businesses within Stanley and Black & Decker.

"Collaboration to the extent that we've …

Commentary: Scenarios for Growth in 2010

Eight years ago, we were in the thick of the last industrial recession. Most distributors enjoyed a good run during the last half of the 1990s; sales were strong. Then the bottom fell out, and the channel compressed.
Distributors focused on profitability survived and were well-positioned for the several years of strong growth. It’s interesting to note that many economists (as well as General Electric’s CEO at the time, Jeffrey Immelt) predicted a long-term low- or even no-growth environment in 2002. And then most distributors enjoyed the best stretch of growth in their history.

MDM Interview: Applied Industrial on the Economy

MDM Editor Lindsay Konzak sat down with David Pugh, CEO of $1.9 billion Cleveland, OH-based industrial distributor Applied Industrial Technologies, at the annual National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors meeting January in Washington, D.C. Applied recently reported sales for the second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009, were down 11 percent to $446.3 million from the same period last year.
In Part 1 of this interview, Pugh discusses how Applied is responding to current economic and market conditions. Part 2 of this interview will appear in the Feb. 25, 2010, issue of MDM.