This is the time to shine

by Robert Driscoll on July 9, 2009

sales_chartSelling in today’s marketplace is tough and no one knows that better than salespeople. Today’s environment is completely different than it was 10 years ago, let alone last year. In past posts, I stated that you need to differentiate yourself and learn everything about your products and services (Selling in 2009) and how it costs more to find new customers than it does to maintain existing ones (Listening To Customers Through Twitter). I know this might sound like common knowledge, but more often than not, we get blinded by our traditional way of thinking no matter how common or invaluable the message is.

If you’re in sales, you need to rethink how you sell to your customers today. If you’re waiting for the phone to ring with an order from your customer, you will suffer. If you continue using the same “sales techniques” that you used a year ago, you will suffer. So, what does one do in these trying times…?

Here are 5 ways to think (differently) about selling in today’s marketplace:

1. Go after customers you called on before – Your competitors are dealing with this recession too and they may have stumbled recently.

2. Relationship selling – Position your offer with the right people. Don’t’ sell from the bottom of your customer’s organization, but rather from the top. Selling doesn’t need to be high pressure, but it will be if you are making your offers to the wrong people within your customer’s organization.

3. Don’t sell technology, sell business improvement – Almost every customer is cutting their spending budgets, so show them how your offer will help them through these difficult times and will eliminate current and future breakdowns. This will create new possibilities for you and your customer.

4. Help companies reinvent themselves – Some companies need to make drastic changes in order to weather this storm but may not realize it. Understand their concerns and help bring them to the forefront and show how your offer can help them.

5. Be prepared – It’s important to execute better than your competition. Respect your client’s time and get it right the first time.

Changing how you sell to your customers today is a matter of survival. You have to be great at showing your clients you can help them improve the way they do business, or else they will find a partner who will. Preparation and a clear understanding of your customers concerns will not only help you sell through this recession, but prosper as well.

Gone are the days of basking in the sunshine, instead… this is the time to shine!

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