With the recession (well truth be told, full blown depression) hanging over the idea of making sales and generating new business, it's only natural to feel somewhat disenchanted and less enthusiastic about day-to-day business. Sales that used to come with relative ease now require more time and effort than ever before. While business analysts keep talking about all of the "green shoots" that are starting to appear in this sagging economy, for many of us, a real recovery and a return to the "good old days" still seem very distant.
Unfortunately, many business owners and sales professionals have let the recession become their excuse for not trying hard. It's their reason for not being passionate about what they do and their justification for not getting out there and doing what it takes to succeed.
In any recessionary period, there is always a shake out of companies and individuals who can't or won't rise to the challenges facing them. The flip side to this is that there will be new and existing players who thrive under the adversity that will grow their market share and serve as the new leaders in the next economic cycle. While the following tips are general and basic, they hold true for everyone who wants to be reaping the harvest when those green shoots finally do produce fruit.
No more excuses about there not being enough work to keep you busy. There's actually more to do than ever before. Dedicate your time to educating yourself on new business development strategies and techniques, networking with others in the industry, and maintaining relationships with existing customers.
New business may have used to just fall into your lap, but those days are long gone. It now requires real brain power to turn those leads into sales. Learn how to use the latest technologies and stay up to date on everything that is happening in your industry and with the economy.
Revise the Game
Undoubtedly, business is not the same as it was before. If things aren't going as well as you like, it's time for a new approach. Revise your business plan, start selling to a new market, and review your product or service offerings. But, don't just sit and wait for things to improve. As Albert Einstein once said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." So, if something isn't working, you need to make a change.
Bring in the Troops
If your team is becoming increasingly frustrated with their lack of sales, it's time to regroup. Invest in sales training, practice new techniques, evaluate everyone's commitment to succeed, and weed out those who are unwilling or unable to adapt to the changes that your business is experiencing.
Yours In Success,
Steven Lanier, MCEC
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