Wednesday, December 3, 2008

THE TOP 7...Tips for Selling in a Recession

I received this via e-mail and it is too good to not share...

Tips from the trenches to keep your territory performance on track

"It's a recession when our neighbor loses his job," said President Harry Truman. "It's a depression when you lose your own." Here are a few tips to help you hang onto your job during these tough times:

1. Distinguish yourself. When you're in sales, you’ve got to find a way to separate yourself from the crowd. If you can, work smarter. If you can't work smarter, work harder. Whatever you do, give it your all. When budget cuts are looming, "average" just ain't good enough.

2. Be active. Doing merely what's expected of you is insufficient. Now's the time to prove to your customer or prospect that you're worth keeping or selecting. Initiating new projects, finding ways to cut costs or increase revenue, or volunteering to take on new projects are good ways to demonstrate your value.

3. Don't whine. Attitude matters. Especially in times of crisis, your customers and prospects need to have positive, energetic, visionary people on board. If you can't say something nice, or at least something useful, do yourself a favor and keep a lid on it.

4. Keep your skills up to date. In an industry as quickly-moving as ours, this is always a must-do. Know more than just the headlines. Keeping those certifications current is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

5. Network. According to a recent study, more than 75 percent of opportunities are never advertised. Don't wait until after you've lost a deal to get back in touch with all those ex-customers, prospects, and industry contacts of yours. You never know who will have inside information about future opportunities.

6. Update your proposals. Hey, you never know what will happen. The more prepared you are to start looking for your next order, the quicker you'll find one.

7. Keep your perspective. In these challenging budget times layoffs happen for reasons that are out of our control, and when they do, it's inevitable that a lot of good, valuable workers will lose their jobs. These could be your contacts. Is it fair? Nope. But them's the breaks. If your contacts do get laid off, don't take it as a crushing blow or let it diminish your confidence in developing new contacts. Sometimes business really is just business. Expand your relationships within each of your accounts; engage all levels of contact within your account to cushion any loss that may happen.

Gregory Vogl

Xerox Account General Manager - State of Florida

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