Aug 12, 2008

Selling During Tough Times

Focus on Fundamentals. Look at each stage of your sales process: Do your lead-generating activities bring quality, interested clients or mere "tire-kickers"? Does your team really understand your customers with in-depth needs assessments? Are features and benefits tied to specific problems facing customers today? Can your team close sales effectively in a well-timed manner?

Drop Problem Customers. There might be clients who are high maintenance, using up your time and resources with little or zero profit. Focus on customers that appreciate your business and are profitable.

Trim the Dead Wood. In flourishing times, sales come easy, so your top performer may have really been an order taker. The current market requires professional sales personnel. Evaluate, support and coach your underperformers. If they're unmotivated, it's time to part ways.

Have Huddles. Hold regular monthly meetings for your staff. Spend this time to role-play skills, share best practices, have fun and give a motivational boost.

Re-Examine Pricing Models. Blindly cutting prices because of increasing competitive pressure is a sure way to shorten your businesses lifespan. Look where to change prices and find ways to tie pricing to a long-term relationship. Build a long-term relationship with your market.