Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Q. What advice can you give me to sell during these tough times?

A. Be upbeat. Your customers are having the life sucked out of them everywhere they turn, and they’re looking for relief. With your positive attitude and your genuine concern for them, you can provide a needed breath of fresh air. Approach every encounter with your customers with this intention: I’m going to leave every business better than before I got there. If you do, you will be admired, respected and rewarded with business opportunities.

Become an expert

Your customers are feverishly looking for ways to improve outcomes and efficiencies and reduce costs. Take the time to get a complete understanding of your customer’s current situation and present solutions (your products and services) that will help them do what they do better.

Prospect more

Due to cost-cutting and consolidation, most sales territories are very large. As such, you have to prospect as much as you can, as fast as you can. Put together a plan to make sure that you call on all of your assigned accounts, allowing you to build a sales pipeline. If that’s impossible, hire an outside lead generation firm that specializes in your business.

Spend your time wisely

A salesperson’s time is his most valuable asset. Winners are focused on selling first and foremost. They trust and rely on their support team to handle things like order taking and customer service.

Turn your clients into fans

Treat your customers like VIPs. Turn them into fans who brag about you and your company, helping you to build a reputation for excellence. Customers will reciprocate by giving you more business, referrals and recommendations.

Mike Sperduti is CEO/managing partner of Emerge Sales. Reach him at