The title of this sales article will certainly raise some eyebrows.  “If there was business”, you must be asking yourself, “I would have found it by now.  After all, I’ve had more than three years to find it.”  Many companies and their salespeople have been looking for the business that used to be there, but few have found it.  Just because you haven’t found it and have been unable to sustain the same level of sales you enjoyed before the recession doesn’t mean the sales aren’t there, it just means you haven’t found them yet.  The great industrialist Henry Ford is quoted as saying, “If you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are right!” Belief is a huge part of sales.  During recessionary times, most salespeople believe that sales opportunities cease to exist.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Admittedly, sales opportunities might be harder to find, but they are still there and in large volume, too.

My experience over the past thirty-five years of selling has identified several reasons why a company’s sales decrease during a recession. (1) Salespeople believe that when buying practices have been altered, sales must go down.  (2) Most salespeople are “order takers”, so when times are tough, the phone stops ringing and sales decrease.  Reason number one substantiates reason number two.  (3) There is nothing that can be done to increase sales, so they just hang on until the economy changes.

In the attitude of defeat lies the foundation of failure and justifiably so, because the seeds of failure have nourished the reality of defeat.  Decreased sales are a self-fulfilling reality and businesses become paralyzed due to their inability to change their belief and alter their actions.  However, there is a solution to this dilemma; one that can bring about a remarkable transformation in the attitude, actions and financial wellbeing of every business and salesperson that is trapped in the grasp of economic despair.

  1. First of all, believe with all your soul that there is hope that things can change when the right conditions exist.  The most important thing you can do is to reach outside of your comfort zone and find new opportunities.  They are out there and always has been; you just haven’t seen them.  The opportunities will be found with your past and current customers in the form of new business or through referrals.  Opportunities might also be disguised in the form of products and services that you are capable of selling but haven’t, heretofore.
  2. Prepare yourself to work harder than ever before.  If finding business in a recession was easy, you wouldn’t be complaining and I wouldn’t be talking about it.  There is nothing easy about finding these sales.  It will be exhausting and discouraging, but it will be worth it.  For some salespeople, they will actually be applying the principles and skills of salesmanship for the first time in their sales careers.  During good times, salespeople become lazy and seek the easy route of an order taker.  Dust off your sales skills and put them to work.
  3. Get out of the habit of doing those things you have always done.  Now is the time to do things differently.  Your actions of the past are not doing you any good in today’s environment.  Create an atmosphere of deliberate and calculated change.  Do those things that you believe will make a positive impact; those things you haven’t had the courage to implement previously.

There are salespeople and companies throughout the area that are currently enjoying their most profitable year, regardless of the recession.  Companies like Maxwell Products, Halverson Company, Jorgenson Companies, Young Automotive Group, Meldrum Scale Company and Servco, just to name a few.  Don’t become discourage, but rather, become encouraged knowing that other companies have found success in difficult times, you can too.  During the period of the “Great Depression” which began with the stock market crash in 1929 and lasted until the United States entered World War II, there were as many companies that prospered, as there were companies that failed.  Our impressions of the depression are probably focused on wide spread financial failures.  Believe, work hard, overcome despair through desire and you will discover the success and financial wellbeing that so many other companies are enjoying in our current recessionary market.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Copyright: The Business Performance Group, Inc.
/* ]]> */