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Selling in a tough economy will separate those salespeople that ‘can’ and those that ‘can't’.

As a sales manager you need to know what to do when the economy starts to hit the brakes.

  • How do you ensure your sales team achieves their sales targets when the market is flat?
  • How do you as the sales leader plan to achieve your sales budget when there is so much indecision and fear in the market?
  • Think about it, do you really know how each of your salespeople are going perform in these troubled times?

Here are a few tips to help you overcome economic uncertainty and you never know, you might just increase sales!

Tip 1 - Don't let the economy be your excuse.
After a tough day or some difficult sales calls, it's easy to use the economy as an excuse. If you do, people will hear it in your voice and you'll sell less. This attitude also leads to working less. In a down economy, when salespeople should be increasing their calls and activity level, the average salesperson cuts calls by 37%. The answer? Use the down economy as a warning and motivation to work harder and smarter, not as an excuse to back off. If you back off, business will go down, if you work harder and smarter, business will improve. As the saying goes "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

Tip 2 - Get better at selling.
When there are fewer sales opportunities and prospects, you must do better with the ones you have. The way to do this is to get better at selling. Go to training – there is always something we all can learn. Using this strategy has helped many salespeople improve to the point where they actually sold more in a so-called down economy than they sold when times were good. Now is the time to improve your skills; constant and consistent learning is the best way to grow your sales.

Tip 3 - Keep a good attitude.
Your attitude is your most important sales tool in your arsenal; you have to keep it sharp. Now is not the time to read the front page of every newspaper and watch the news. Our brains are like computers "Garbage in, garbage out." What you should be doing is putting as many good ideas as possible into your brain. Pick up anything that is inspirational, motivational, positive, and upbeat and use it to keep a good attitude and stay focused.

Tip 4 - Prepare for the price objection and build value.
People are focused on price more than ever these days. Prospects and customers will do everything they can to commoditize vendors and simply go with the lowest price. Thus it is very important that you build value. Accentuate your primary benefits, make them as powerful as possible, and come up with some solid responses to the price objection.

Tip 5 - Build relationships.
Relationships are extremely important, in most cases more than anything else, so you need to focus on not only staying in touch with and keeping your name in front of customers and prospects, but also on taking that next step and building solid relationships.

Tip 6 - Remember, you are completely responsible for your success.
Five years from now you and your career will arrive somewhere, the question is: where? If you decide that something outside of you, such as the economy, is responsible for your success or failure, you give away control of your destiny and your ultimate success. The way to change that is to remember that your success is up to you, you own it, and you control it. Provided you have solid goals and strong enough reasons why you need to get there, you will arrive where you decide to arrive, regardless of the economy, or anything else for that matter. Reminding yourself that you are 100% responsible for your success keeps your success under your control and within reach.

If you put the above tips to work, you will see an improvement in business, perhaps a significant one. The sky is the limit, so stay positive, work hard, work smart, never stop learning and dream big!

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