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Poll Results: Predicting 1st Quarter Sales

Filed under: Poll Results

Hmmm, I don’t know what to make of the latest poll results on ASICentral. Either we’re all relentlessly pessimistic, or wearing rose-colored glasses because nearly 50% of the 431 votes cast were for two answers on extreme opposite ends of the spectrum pertaining to the following question:

How do you expect your Q1 2009 sales to compare to Q1 2008?

With 7 answer options as follows:

  • Decrease more than 10%
  • Increase more than 10%
  • Decrease 6%-10%
  • Increase 6%-10%
  • Decrease 1%-5%
  • Increase 1%-5%
  • Stay the same

With the economy in recession, I fully expected the results to lean toward the negative, and they do, but they also lean toward the positive as well. Most respondents, 30.39% (131 votes), feel that 1st quarter 2009 sales will decrease more than 10% when compared to 1st quarter 2008. However, the second most respondents, 16.01% (69 votes), feel that sales will increase more than 10%! I realize that the negative outweighs the positive almost 2 to 1, but it’s still an interesting stat.

And this is where I do my famous bottom line routine and try to make sense out of these results.

Bottom Line: With the economy in chaos, a stimulus bill nobody can agree on or make sense of, a housing market that’s in shambles and chimpanzees on the loose, I really don’t think anyone’s sure what to make of their first quarter sales in 2009. The sweet thing is we’ll actually have verifiable results soon on ASICentral in our Research section under Industry Sales. Check back soon for results!

And here’s the visual results of this month’s poll:



  1. Jon Sollberger Says:

    I hope the optimists are correct, but I will be ahppy to keep the same. However, one comment on your presentation. It would be more meaningful to arrange the pie chart and table in the order of business levels. When you do this, the responses expecting decreases are more than half the pie, and until you get to the responses expecting more than a 10% increase, the numbers keep falling. Keep up the good work.

    Tuesday February 24, 2009
  2. Larry Mays Says:

    I always find “generic” data troubling. In my experience, on a percentage of the whole basis, people with large corporate accounts, with annual budgets who spend money every year – no matter what – tend to believe their business will remain pretty stable. That’s because their clients have “budgets” and they will spend them. Even if the company is laying off workers.

    The opposite is often true for the smaller – or medium-sized distributors. Their clients do not have “budgets” to spend. And if they are laying off workers, their available cash to spend disappears to zero. I believe the analysis would be much more valuable – and legitimate – if the numbers related directly to the size of the distributorship’s sales.

    Wednesday February 25, 2009
  3. TeamCentral Says:

    thanks for the feedback, guys. our interpretation of poll results is certainly not scientific and is merely opinion. the service we use to render the stats is, at best, topical and cannot take into consideration data at the micro level, ie size of businesses, etc …

    thanks for weighing in — your opinions definitely matter!

    Thursday February 26, 2009

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