Stop blaming 2009

I’ll admit it. I am tired of people exclaiming that they can’t wait for 2009 to be over” or that they are hoping for a “better” 2010. Truth is, if you can’t recall one great thing that happened in 2009 or if you find yourself not being able to be grateful for the year at all, you are doomed to have another miserable year in 2010. 2009 was NOT a bad year for everyone. It was NOT a recession for everyone and if you look hard enough you will find examples of companies and sales reps who did success.

One thing that can be sure, is that those who did OK or great in 2009 did so by both working hard and working smart. They also did it by working differently.  A client asked me recently whether sales results can be improved – and sales targets met – even in what some call a “soft economy.” The answer is an unqualified yes. As proven by smart companies such as Mercedes, Apple, Porsche, Nintendo, McDonalds, Hershey – and yours truly at Engage! But first, we have to stop blaming the economy.

 Sure, the economy plays a role in sales success. But it’s only one element, and definitely not the most important one at that. At its most fundamental level, sales performance is about one thing and one thing only: performance. Today’s top sales performers understand that fact, just as they understand that their performance is a direct result of how they demonstrate Attitude, Integrity and caring towards their customers, each and every day.

 Here is a list of all the ways I think you can increase sales in a down economy. Start implementing these ideas today and I know 2010 will be a great year for you.

  1. Make 5 more calls. Working a bit harder will improve results
  2. Target your markets to those with money. Stop trying to sell to a market that’s broke
  3. Revamp your products and offerings to match what clients want right now in your market
  4. Have a referral blitz where you ask you best clients for referrals to your best prospects
  5. Host seminars in your markets to attract new buyers in a non threatening environment
  6. generate leads using targeted direct mail
  7. Host a webinar or a series of webinars for an association whose members are your potential clients
  8. Write articles for your association newsletters
  9. Present a new way to engage with your products – bundles, smaller, or bigger packages that can attract different buyers
  10. Have a sales contest focused on activities such as number of appointments, number of calls
  11. Have an old client reactivation campaign. Call all the clients who you have not done business with in 122 months or older
  12. Have an upgrade campaign. Allow your clients to upgrade to a newer version for a deeply discounted onetime offer
  13. Follow up on last years tradeshow leads. With over 80% of leads still reported as not being followed up with there could be some serious gold in those leads….even if they are old
  14. Take your manager out to sell with you for coaching ideas on where to improve
  15. Aim to fill your sales funnel to 4X quota amount not just 3 times your quota
  16. Use testimonials as proof – not just corporate marketing speak –  that you can do what you say you can
  17. Hire a student or a telemarketing company to prequalify all the old leads in your database

 This is certainly not an exhaustive list and perhaps one idea here has inspired you to implement something completed different. If that’s the case I would love to hear your ideas. Please leave them as comments so we can help create success for all readers of this blog

Regardless of whether your idea to beat the economy is one of the 17 above, or something different do yourself a profitable favor this week and implement it. You will prosper as a result.

 Dedicated to increasing your sales,