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September 29, 2014 Know How

Sell more in any economy

You hear it everywhere you go: “Sales are down because of the economy. My customers simply aren’t buying as much.”

Some say the economy doesn’t matter; it’s what’s going on in your own head that matters. Yet, while it’s true that what goes on in your brain is always more important than outside circumstances, the economy is still what’s affecting many businesses. If yours is one of them, put these seven ideas into practice and you’ll find that the economy's effect on you will be minimal. In fact, you may notice no change or even a positive one.

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. As an alternative, use a down economy as a warning and motivation to work harder and smarter. If you do, business will improve.

2) Get better at selling.

When there are fewer sales opportunities and prospects, do better with the ones you have. The way to do this is to get better at selling. Read books, listen to tapes and CDs, watch DVDs, become a sponge and absorb everything you can get your hands on. This has helped many salespeople improve to a point where they actually sold more in a so-called down economy than they sold when times were good.

3) Keep a good attitude.

Your attitude is your most important sales tool; you have to keep it sharp. Put as many good ideas as possible into your brain. Pick up anything inspirational, motivational, positive, and upbeat and use it to keep a good attitude and stay focused.

4) Prepare for the price objection and build value.

Prospects and customers will do everything they can to commoditize vendors and go with the lowest price. So, it’s very important to build value. What are your primary benefits? How are you, your company and your product better than the competition? Are you local? Is your long-term cost less? Can you respond to service calls faster?

5) Build relationships.

The relationship with the salesperson is the top reason people do business with a particular company. In most cases, relationships are the most important, so stay in touch with and keep your name in front of customers and prospects.

6) Go back to the basics.

Increase the personal touch. Make more face-to-face visits to customers, send handwritten notes, stop by occasionally simply to say “hello,” and drop off a proposal in person instead of mailing or emailing it. Your objective is to connect with the customer more often on a more personal level at a time when your competitors are calling less and being less personal.

7) You are 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 forfeit 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. n

John Chapin is an author, speaker, trainer and sales coach based in Auburn. He has more than 25 years of sales experience. Contact him at

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