Time to get optimistic

by | Oct 31, 2008

Gloom and doom is everywhere these days!  Uhg… I’m soooo tired of hearing all the hyperbole about the economy.
I’m lucky.  Years of managing sales people and running businesses has steeled my optimism.  I’ve learned the hard way that every down turn or set back is the beginning of your next big break through.

If your customers are giving you that “woe is me” story, cutting budgets and putting off acquisitions, its hard not to be infected.
So, here are a couple of reminders about human nature that I hope will help you stay positive and optimistic and beat your sales goals:

•In any economy, customers give you “put offs” because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.  Sure, sometimes they’re real.  But those you’ll know for the truth when you hear them.  The rest, the majority of put offs, are just that.  A way of saying “not now” without saying “no”.  Usually, “not now” means no time soon.  Hopefully, you all ready know how to deal with the typical put offs in your industry.  My advice is to use the same techniques to respond to the newest crop of put offs – “we’re putting all purchases on hold”, “our industry has been hit hard”, etc.  Respond by asking first “If things weren’t in such turmoil economically, would you be moving forward with a purchase?”.  I think you’ll be surprised by what you hear.

•Suggest that your customers take the opportunity of the rest of the industry being in the doldrums and get aggresive in the market and grow market share.  If your product allows the customers to reduce costs or increase efficiency then you are presenting them with the opportunity to get better and stronger while their competition licks their wounds.

•Exude optimism.  Tell people you don’t feel that things are as bad as the news makes it sound.  Tell stories about other customers who are seeing some success recently, inspite of it all.

At a minimum, you will build tremendous raport with your customer because of your optimism.  They’ll respect your strength of character in helping them see the way forward.  You will NOT be just another sales rep any more.  You’ll be the guy they remember as having answers to challenges, not just another shoulder to cry on.