Sales Strategies for a Tough Economy
January 12th, 2010
There can’t be a person on the planet who remains untouched by the economic stress that unfolded in the past year. This new normal continues to re-create itself daily, and just about the time we think we’ve got it figured out, something new emerges.
It is time to turn on our afterburners, ramp up our courage and reject the mindset of the fainthearted. The truth is, we have choices in these tumultuous times. We can go toward abundance with a positive determination, or we can go toward scarcity, which invariably evokes fear, dread and stilted confidence.
I recently coached a client who voiced concerns over his 25 percent decrease in sales. At the risk of an over simplistic response to his concerns, I suggested that he get his team members tuned in to a new strategy and work 25 percent harder and 25 percent smarter in these challenging times. There is a lot to be said for increasing call count, collaborating more diligently with customers and then enthusiastically going to market with renewed vigor and imagination.
So how do we program ourselves and our team members to go the extra mile when battered with negative headlines? There are two actions that, if mastered, will transform your possibilities and inspire you to learn new skills that can make a measurable difference.
The first is this: Have you ever wondered why some high performers consistently outperform their peers? Is it their exceptional IQ? Is it the fact that they work longer hours? These factors play a part, but why is it that some precious few sales professionals seem to possess a magical ability to compress more achievement into a given measurable time frame than others?
This is the most frequently asked question I have received in some four decades in the speaking and training business, and after much studied observation, I think I have finally figured it out.
Would you agree that most high performers are up? Their attitude is positive, their expectations are high and their demeanor is refreshing. They have a source of propulsion that has proven to keep them pumped up for success and achievement. So what is it exactly that propels them into this sphere of attitudinal excellence? Different people tap into different sources, but all high achievers have one that works for them. It might be reading self-help books and magazines, listening to educational CDs in the car, attending seminars, or working with their mentors. But in the absence of a viable propulsion source, you will most assuredly head to the doldrums as a result of simple gravity.
Secondly, in addition to being up, could we also agree that most high performers are good at what they do? Like a source of propulsion will impact positively on our attitude, sound training and development strategies will give us the cutting-edge skills to position us for superb performance. The consumer continues to drive the bar of excellence up every year, and we must rejuvenate our skill sets with the best strategies out there to make progress. If we hang with old habits, our productivity will decrease over time.
So the question for you to consider is this: Do you think high performers are up because they are good, or are they good because they are up? The answer is yes! These two powerful forces ignite each other. The better we become, the better our attitude is, and the better our attitude is, the hungrier we are for the best ideas and skills. This reality creates tremendous torque that results in positive momentum, which helps high performers retain their status as exceptional producers.
Don Hutson is a speaker, trainer and author of 10 books, including The One Minute Entrepreneur, a New York Times best-selling book he co-authored with Ken Blanchard. He’s also the CEO of U.S. Learning, based in Memphis, Tenn.
Success.com February 2010