Staying The Course In Uncertain Economic Times

That title would indicate that you are about to read a dissertation on supply side economics! If you knew me personally you would know how bizarre that sounds! I’ve witnessed sales managers and the corner office folk go into fugue states wondering what they need to change when sales are down or when economic times are tough.

I can make a strong case for not changing anything. There are cycles in a salesperson’s life or the life of a company when not much seems to go right. Sales don’t happen with the usual regularity. Prospects take exhausting amounts of time making decisions. Competition cuts prices because their panic is worse than yours. The sales presentations that always worked in the past fall on deaf ears. This is when your gut starts talking to you! There is that queasy feeling when commission dollars fall or when strategies don’t meet expectations or your cash reserves dwindle. It is so easy to push the “I’ve-got-to-do-something-radically- different” button.

Don’t do it! Baseball players work through hitting slumps, basketball players go 0 for the game from the three point line, golfers miss 10 cuts in a row. Not many, if any, of them revamp how they play the game. The odds are pretty good though that they will focus on their skill sets to determine if they are executing those skills to their best advantage. I would suggest that salespeople and sales managers do the same thing.

Radical change can lead to even more radically different and worse results. Take a look at how you prospect, who you’re pursuing, how you communicate, how you listen, how you service the customer or how you manage your time. Break each one of these down into their component parts to determine if you’re executing the correct behaviors and/or techniques. If you see something that does need tweaking then tweak away. If what you’re doing does not need an overhaul the continue doing what you’re doing. Sometimes the solution to a down cycle is patience and attention to detail.

The Final Word:     I Like this quote I dislike this quoteThis is a fantastic time to be entering the business world, because business is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50.” Bill Gates

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