Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Death by a thousand cuts? Let's keep positive

Soon we will putting back our clocks to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on 31st October 2010. We have the bonus of lighter mornings but the energy sapping early dark evenings.

The beauty of autumn and its ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ are with us for a while but we know this beautiful season is the harbinger of winter to come.

Similarly, it seems our economy acts in a similar seasonal process of change. David Cameron has laid bare his case that the country had no choice but to make savage cuts to its spending as he addressed the Conservative Party Conference this Autumn.

Despite the heralding of certain economic forecasters and pundits of the much ‘hyped ’end of recession in UK it turned out to be a false hope particualrly for the public sector.

Many businesses are still stuck in the mire. Whether the recession is going to turn out to be ‘L’ shaped or a bouncing on the bottom ‘W’ shape, one fact is clear, for most of us in selling, times will be tough for quite a while yet.

Even when the true green shoots of recovery occur according to the financial markets, there will be a lag -possibly year in many markets -before we feel the sap of sales growth rising in our businesses.

(Warwick University Conference Campus,Coventry, England Autumn 2010)

Of course there are tools and technologies to help us in these times. Our CRM if regularly populated directs us how to develop the business by not just acting as a Sales Record or reporting system but directing us to what is the aim of the next call.

Google Analytics give us the macro picture of hits on our website, indicating who’s interested in our website even if they turn out after investigation not to genuine prospects.

However many in selling at the moment are asking themselves

“What is the point of trawling through the same old list of clients who told us genuinely that they don’t have need for our product and services at the moment?”

Nagging such folk is only likely to alienate them.

Sure sales is a ‘numbers game’ but grinding through the same tired prospect lists in the hope of finding a ‘phoenix from the ashes ‘ type prospect is a depressing , de-motivating and often fruitless activity and so it does not take long for SAD ( Sales Apathy Disorder) to get a grip on our sales mindset.

Like its namesake SAD (Seasonal Adjustment Disorder) it has similar symptoms of Drowsiness, Listlessness, Winter Blues, Loss of motivation and an all too quick acceptance of weak performance

So let’s not be seduced into wallowing in every piece of bad and depressing economic news. Don’t get sucked into the ‘swamp of sameness‘and a ‘slough of despond’.
Recessions are seldom uniform across all industries or markets. Business has to go on. Buyers still are buying from somebody.

So let’s start with some Positive Mental Attitude
1. Believe you can do it and stay positive!
2. Get proactive
3. Sharpen up your sales skills
4. Improve your service and focus on relationships
5. Maximise your efforts to the full

Coming shortly in future blog posts I will be sharing an A-Z of sales skills for tough recessionary times. So keep a regular eye on the site.


  1. Positive Mental Attitude is a great place to start especially in difficult times. It is so easy to fall into the negativity trap!

  2. Thanks C for posting a comment

    I think it was the management guru Peter Drucker who said
    " If we are not part of the solution we have to be part of the problem