Sales Slowdown: Lessons of the Leaky Bucket

If you are like many (and being honest with yourself,) there are parts of your selling machine that are less than OK. Maybe your scripting is weak, your crm/contact manager is outdated or poorly setup, maybe your list is aged or not well prioritized. Your people could use some training.

Bottom line is business has been good and you let these things slide.
It was more uncomfortable for you to fix them, than to continue as is.
Maybe it was money or time. Maybe you just didn’t want to change.

Reminds me of the story of the farmer with the leaky bucket. Every day the farmer must haul water from the pump to the animals. The bucket was full of holes and by the time he got to the animals, most had leaked out. But the farmer persevered. Every day he filled the bucket and went back and forth, back and forth. One day a visitor, seeing this waste of effort says “Your bucket is leaking. You should fix that.” Farmer says “I know it’s leaking, but I don’t have the time to fix it. I’m too busy carrying water.”

A lot of businesses are like that. When business is good, many are perfectly happy operating with some leaky buckets as the bills are being paid and the business is making money.


When things change. When the economy slows down. When sales are harder and fewer people are spending, the ones that win in tough times are the ones who plug the holes in their scripts, systems, lists, closing process, yada, yada, yada.

How do you sell in times of economic crisis?

The answer for businesses is the same for individuals faced with disasters.
Those that have the highest chance of survival are those that take immediate action. They move.

Read a book many years ago “Who Survives When Disaster Strikes?’ It was about who survives when faced with a life or death disaster. It might be a building fire, airplane crash, earthquake, terrorist attack, whatever. All sorts of stories, studies and examples of the difference between those that survive crisis and those that don’t.

Those that made split-second decisions to get moving had by far the greatest chance of survival. By far.

What do most do when faced with a potential disaster? Smell smoke? Explosion? Plane crash? Most look around, see what everyone else is going to do, wait to see exactly what happened, how bad it is. Then they do something. But for too many it is too late. That pause costs dearly.

For most of us, economic reality for the next few months to a year or more will be challenging.

Most of your competitors will act just like most people do when faced with disaster. Wait. Those that were already weak will probably fail. Those that don’t fix their leaky buckets greatly increase the odds of failure.

When you sell in tough economic times you must be more focused, more efficient, more effective.

Those that make excuses or wait “No money, no time, no one is buying” will be financially crippled. Those that act quickly, fix their leaky buckets and start to market and sell smarter, more efficiently and more effectively, will survive, maybe even thrive.

Don’t be like your competitors that are waiting to see what happens.

Act now. Sell smarter. Take the lead.