Tuesday, January 12, 2010

You're Still in Control

It's hard to start the sales year off right when you're in a down economy, but take heart - today sales trainer Joe Guertin explains how you're still in control.

You and I cannot change people's minds about what the economy might do to them. Most of the time, they have to find that out for themselves. But here's some good news: in most industries, you still have control. Control over the sales process...even if your prospect is caught up in the doom 'n' gloom of what might happen.

I talked to a sales rep a few weeks ago who lamented that his industry was projected to be down almost 25% the remainder of the year (and I'll agree that's one heck of a drop!). So I asked him the gratuitous question "who's getting the other 75%?" After the expected pause, he growled "ME...I'm going to get it!" I could just hear his attitude shift from fear of the unknown to that of the Sales Streetfighter.

In turbulent times, gutsy salespeople turn up the heat on themselves. Here are five of their favorite strategies:

They balance their 'customer portfolio'
Customers who tend to move slowly, or are slow to change, are the most likely to cut back in turbulent times. Make sure your accounts and prospects are a good mix of slow moving and innovative companies so that you don't get caught short.

They use time more wisely
This is the time to examine your workday. Most of us start out well organized but, over time, we fall into ruts. Reading emails, visiting, paperwork and meetings start to consume a considerable amount of your time. Little things, like making phone calls in clusters (e.g.: 10 at a time) help us get a ton more done inside the workday.

They see more people
Your customers will be getting a lot of phone calls, but you'll be the one sitting in their office. Get busy.

They ask more questions
Delays, objections and lost sales can often be traced to having insufficient information.

They go for the close
Ask for the order. Nothing feeds into their hesitation like leaving the potential sale on the table.

Joe Guertin is an advertising sales trainer, speaker and coach. His programs have informed and entertained sales professionals nationwide. Visit his Sales Resource Center at www.StreetFighterSelling.com.

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