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CEO, President of



Markets are shocked by the financial crisis. Companies react with layoffs. In the computers and technology industry, things speak for themselves and give us a message we need to analyze if we want to be taught from what is going on and not just live in panic. The bad news is that companies react with a wave of layoffs. Oracle, the world’s largest software developer, is laying off 4,000 of its 86,000 employees. 90% of those laid off work in the company’s sales department. Motorola is also laying off 3,000 employees, mostly from the sales department. Sony is also laying off 8,000 employees, almost all from the sales department. Dell has announced 1,900 lay offs, Western Digital will lay off 8,000 employees, TDK is laying off 8,000 employees. Even the mighty Google announced it will lay off up to 10,000 employees. The point here is that the largest part of lay offs comes in the sales department. This may seem odd because in times of crisis, companies would need to boost their sales in order to survive. However, companies lay off those employees whom they need less, and in the current predicament, these are salespersons. This contradiction can also be explained by the fact that these huge corporations have established brand names which practically sell themselves. They spent a lot of time and money to make their brand names and they make use of it now. Sony probably needed ten sales representatives to sell its products in the past, but not anymore. Now three of four who can explain some special product features are more than enough. The brand sells its reputation and its product design.

Now there is an immediate need to support those who were laid off and protect them from dismissal post traumatic stress. In this stage, biofeedback shields individuals through stress management and enables them to psychologically survive, have a clear head during crisis and avoid any desperate or panicked moves that would make matters worse. During a crisis, those who were laid off from their jobs need to be supported in order to stay healthy until they find new jobs. They don’t need to deal with the psychological and physical side effects of dismissal post traumatic stress and add to the already charged atmosphere at home. Stress management is the first safety net for those who were laid off, so they don’t show any signs of deterioration in their health, which may drift their family members along as well.

On the other hand, and keeping in mind the wise dictum “every cloud has a silver lining”, one could look for the good that hides in the midst of a financial crisis and its subsequent massive lay offs. The market resembles to the human body. When the body suffers a heart attack, it develops and employs collateral vessels which were mostly unused up to that point, in order to develop the so called “collateral perfusion” and restore its function. So the good thing is that other companies, mostly small to medium enterprises that haven’t established their name in the market yet and have a wide scope for development, are looking for good salespersons in order to expand. They are the market’s collateral perfusion. Not all companies out there are in debt or aggravated. There are many healthy businesses looking for partners in order to further develop. Everybody states that multiple large financial support packages will be given to developing small to medium enterprises. Therefore, they will benefit the most from the present predicament and they will become the background for the new period of development that will succeed the current crisis. So those who were laid off, especially salespersons, should not give up. Their first concern should be to remain healthy and try not to be psychologically affected by their dismissal. Biofeedback can be the solution to this problem, as it aids them to manage stress. This way, they can wait for the time it takes before the market receives its collateral perfusion, which is estimated to be short, in order to actually make something good of the bad that’s happened to them.

Laid off salespersons should immediately look out for the smaller, “unadvertised” companies with possibly innovative products, companies they would probably not consider in the past exactly because they were unadvertised and had not established a brand name that sold itself in the market. These smaller, relative “unknown” companies with the great dynamics will be their vehicle for a new, successful career. After all, “every cloud has a silver lining”.


- Published in “INSURANCE MARKET” magazine