Dec 172008

The story is told of a businessman who spent several days each week traveling around the country visiting his different clients. Spending so many days away from home, he was becoming somewhat weary when it came to mealtime. Restaurant food had become routine and he was always looking for something different or at least better. One afternoon as he entered a local restaurant in the town he was traveling, he was seated at a table and handed a menu. As he perused the typical offerings he was about to settle for the same old fare he had been eating for weeks.

About that time, the waitress came by and asked if he had decided. He asked, “What would you recommend?” Immediately her demeanor changed. She lit up like a Christmas tree and started talking about the most wonderful stew, a signature item for the restaurant. She was almost giddy as she described the meat and vegetables, the thick gravy and a taste that was heavenly. She said it was her favorite of all the items on the menu, and a favorite of all the locals. She talked about how it was prepared and how the vegetables were fresh and cooked just to the point of being soft, but not mushy. She described the chunks of sirloin tip steak that was cooked so tender and seasoned to perfection. She went on and on for several minutes bubbling with emotion as she described this wonderful stew to the businessman. When she finally concluded her most enthusiastic presentation, the businessman said, “I’ll have a large bowl of your ENTHUSIASTIC STEW”.

Enthusiasm is contagious. Enthusiasm is refreshing. Enthusiasm is a secret weapon that every sales person can use to sell their products and services. Enthusiasm might very well be the difference between making a sale and losing a sale. In the story of the businessman and the stew, I’m not so certain that the waitress really cared if the man ordered the stew or something else on the menu. But, her enthusiasm and excitement for the stew became contagious and was a main consideration for the man making his decision. A recommendation for a product and service can be made with the words we say, but an even more powerful recommendation is found in the emotion or enthusiasm we have for the product.

On Monday the 8th day of December, the government officially declared that the nation is in the midst of an economic recession. What does this mean? Simply stated, growth in gross national product is either neutral or declining. For most business they are anticipating that their sales will decrease during this time. For the few, they will realize that even though times are more difficult there will still be purchases made and the opportunities are still there. Sales people need to work smarter, harder and do things that haven’t been done in the past because of complacency. One of those things that needs to be done to improve performance during these challenging times is to be enthusiastic. Show your enthusiasm for your products and services. Show your enthusiasm for the market you are working. Show enthusiasm for your company. Show enthusiasm for being a sales person.

Your competitors have already made a fatal mental error by conceding that due to the recession, sales will be down. With that mentality they can’t be faulted. Their lack of effort is not the reason that sales are down, it is the recession. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sales will be down for those that believe they will be down. For the rest of us, sales can be as good or better than they were before the government declared a recession. It won’t be easy and it won’t be done doing things as before. Here are five things that will allow you to succeed during these difficult times:

  1. Be Enthusiastic.
  2. Manage your time – Plan and schedule every day.
  3. Spent eight hours each day selling, not just doing stuff.
  4. See the people.
  5. Use your existing customer base for additional sales and referrals.

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Copyright: The Business Performance Group, Inc.
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