When sales are slow – like they might be for you right now (and no one knows when they’re going to speed up) – you have to look for ideas to capture more of the existing market.
Ideas like: more sales from present customers, more sales by earning referrals, more sales by stealing business from the competition, better positioning online, and more networking.
REALITY: In these times, you have to be prepared to work harder to make less, and work longer hours to make fewer sales, than you did when the economy was booming.
And you may be griping about it.
Why? The easy answer is that the ideas I suggested require MORE WORK. More than you have ever had to do before – combined with fewer earnings.
Which brings me to my point. Forget what you don’t like and concentrate on what you do like. Before you start on these extra work projects, it might be a good (and valuable) idea if you discovered (or rediscovered) WHY you’re doing this in the first place.
What do you like about sales?
What do you love about sales?
CONSIDER THIS: If you know what you like and love about sales, then doing the hard work to make them happen becomes a joy rather than a job.
Here is a list of things that might jog your memory back to the time you first chose sales as a profession:
• The overall challenge that sales presents.
• The intellectual stimulation of the entire process.
• Building friendships with customers and suppliers.
• The creativity of coming up with ideas.
• The challenge of asking and engaging.
• The theatrics of the presentation and the excitement of preparation.
• The creativity challenge of differentiating yourself from the competition.
• The creativity challenge of thinking on your feet as objections arise.
• The pride of showing testimonials as proof of what you’re saying.
• The thrill of beating the competition or winning the battle with purchasing.
• The making of money – the drive to earn based on what you’re worth.
• The ever-changing routine that keeps you on your toes, and off your butt.
• The increasing speed of technology.
• The great feeling you get from solving a problem, with you as the solution.
• The great feeling of serving customers and helping them succeed.
• The personal pride of making the sale, and knowing the customer made the right choice.
• Knowing the customer is better off having purchased from you.
• The pride of winning – the sale, the up-sell, and the reorder.
• The pride of earning a referral.
• The great feeling of accomplishment.
The secret is no secret. It’s loving what you do. It’s knowing you can do what few dare to try. It’s earning money based on your ability, not just based on someone else’s opinion of what you’re worth (some people don’t want that risk – understood and respected). If your heart isn’t in it, neither is your head.
• Put your heart into your job.
• Put your heart into your desire to serve.
• Put your heart into your product belief.
• Put your heart into your presentation.
• Put your heart into delivering customer value.
John Patterson, the founder of the National Cash Register Company, the father of American salesmanship, and the subject of my Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching!, said it best: “Put your heart into your work.”
Patterson loved cash registers. He couldn’t understand why everyone else didn’t love cash registers. Personally, I like cash registers because most of them have cash inside.
But you may not like cash registers. You can never put your heart into it if you don’t love it. And so I’ve taken the liberty of paraphrasing Patterson by saying, “Love it or leave it.”
HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: If you love it, it will be ever so easy for you to put your full heart into it.
HERE’S THE BETTER NEWS: The heart is attached to the wallet.
Keep that in mind as you’re seeking your fortune.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer; he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.