When times are good and the economy is strong, business flows in and out. What I mean is – you seek (or prospect) new business and prospective clients seek you out. Many business owners will say that growing their business is easy during these times. However, when times are softer and they have to pull the business in they don’t do as well. Many really struggle.
When a salesperson has been humming along, working their system for a while, they may find their system becoming ineffective. Or they’ve grown their base so much that the prospect field is shrinking. In some cases they’ve spent so much time adding clients they’ve been neglecting the ones they have.
The way I see it, these are invitations to change. The reality is this – nothing stays the same. Times change, people change, needs change, the economy changes. The best approach is to be open to that change; really to be expecting that things might change. Then when it happens it won’t be so surprising. You’ll be more open to going with the change, rather than fighting against it.
As we visit each scenario you’ll notice a theme. Keep an eye out!
Difficulty with the pull of sales.
The way to combat the difficulties of gaining business only through the pull is to master that process. When things are good – when you don’t need it as much – it’s easy to get complacent and relax. Unfortunately, it’s not the best idea. If you realize that you always have to be selling, that you can’t rely on the random request, you will be at ease with the selling process. Then, if the time arrives where the only business out there is business you go get, you’ll be skilled at the process.
2. Mark Twain said, ‘If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.’ Well, not in this case! There’s a big danger in sales of getting too comfortable with your process. What happens is you lose your fire, your edge; you get stale. The result is fewer sales. So, what do you do to prevent this from happening? Keep an eye on your process and change it up. Develop different strategies. Keep things interesting by changing HOW you do what you do.
This same principle applies to the problem of a shrinking prospect base. The one you are used to targeting has shrunk – no doubt. But, if you have different strategies that include targeting different prospect types, that field will remain big enough to hunt in.
3. When you are so invested in adding clients that you neglect your current clients, you run a huge risk of losing them. Change your focus – or I should say split your focus between sales and account management. Both activities are essential to business growth. And consider this – there may be more business to gain from current clients. You can grow your business right where you are!
Now, did you notice the theme? The invitation to change occurs during the process – not once the problem has appeared. Did you see it? The solutions I discussed are designed to keep you out of trouble in the first place. I invite you to change your methods so you are always ahead of the curve, on top of your business, growing all the time no matter what environment you find yourself in.
No need to RSVP! You’ll know if you’ve accepted my invitation by your results!
Copyright© 2008 Seize This Day Coaching