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Sales Solutions
Combating the Economy Blues vol 6, issue #3
March, 2009

Hardly a day goes by these days when we're not bombarded with bad news.  The stock market goes down.  Unemployment goes up.  Through it all, there's one thing that's not changing - your quota.  And your company's expectation that you meet or exceed it.


To say these are difficult times would be the understatement of the decade.


Closer to home, prospects are taking longer to make decisions - if they're making them at all.  They're inviting more vendors in and expecting them to sharpen their pencils.   And they're making you use those pencils to justify their investment in hard dollars, and fast paybacks.


In such an environment, it's human nature to feel discouraged and helpless - not to mention stressed.  It's understandable that we might feel as if we're climbing up an endlessly high mountain.  That we're banging our heads against a wall.  And to use these obstacles as reasons to mail it in, ride it out, and wait for better times.


Well, you know what?  That's the attitude of the majority of sales people - including those at your competitors, and maybe even in your own office.  And therein lies the silver lining surrounding these dark, ominous clouds: you are part of the minority who refuse to throw in the towel, who refuse to use the lousy economy as an excuse not to succeed, and who refuse to let external influences dictate how you will approach your job.  No, you're determined to not just tread water, you're determined to take business away from the majority who prefer to complain about how tough it is out there.  And you have the skills - relationship-building and selling - to do so.


ACTION ITEMS

These days, prospects have become more cautious when it comes to switching providers.  It's therefore even more necessary to continue to establish and cultivate relationships - trusted advisor relationships.  Don't attempt to sell; instead, demonstrate how you can help solve a problem (conserving cash, increasing revenue, or removing a headache, for example).  Redouble your efforts and focus your time on activities that will get more opportunities into your funnel, and more qualified opportunities into your pipeline.  Continue to sell smart by using what you've learned in sales training, and tips you've picked up from workshops. Dig out relevant issues of The Sales Solution (didn't save them?  No problem - click here for the on-line archive of all previous issues)  Above all, don't let all the gloom and doom you hear get you down.  Maintain a positive, optimistic attitude, particularly when you're with prospects.  In short, do what the majority of sales people aren't - waiting for better times.  Get to work right now.  Because even now, as Alec Baldwin said in Glenngarry GlenRoss:"They're sitting out there waiting to give you their money.  Are you going to take it?


Good Selling!


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