Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sales Lessons Learned from a Recession

A lot has happened in the past year, and instead of trying to forget about it, sales trainer Kelley Robertson suggests you learn from it!

The past year was definitely interesting. Some sales professionals prospered while others suffered. I spoke to one person who doubled his income - and he works in automotive sales! Yet, another well-established person experienced a decline of more than fifty percent in his sales. There are several key sales lessons that can be learned from selling in a recession. These will help you succeed in the upcoming year.

Companies are Leaner
This has been an ongoing factor for many years with continual downsizing and cut backs. However, the recession forced many companies to scale back even further than they normally would have. This has resulted in an extremely lean workforce.

What does that mean for salespeople?

It means people are stretched even further and busier than ever before. It means it will become even more difficult to connect with decision-makers. It means projects will be put on hold because people will be too busy to implement them. You need to find a way to help your customers deal with this. Make your solutions easier. Assist with the implementation. This also means respecting their time when you meet. If you have sixty minutes allotted for your meeting but you can wrap it up in forty-five, then do so. Your customer will appreciate it and it will help you stand out from the crowd.

The Buying Process Has Changed
There is no question that decision-makers in corporate America have changed the way they make buying decisions. Caution is now a standard business practice and I suspect that it will remain that way for years to come. This means you need to become more adept and proficient in your discovery process. You not only need to find out who is responsible for the buying decision but also what internal factors your key decision-makers are facing that may derail the sale or prevent the process from moving forward.

This has always been part of the sales process. However, it is even more critical to uncover this information as part of your discovery process. The sales professionals who get this will outshine their colleagues and competitors.

Check back tomorrow when Robertson continues with more lessons from the recession.

As President of The Robertson Training Group, Kelley has helped thousands of professionals improve their business results with his engaging approach to sales training and speaking. Learn more at

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