Sales Survivor or Casualty: 2 Things Will Decide

“You don’t want to realize economic recovery has begun by seeing competitors’ close clients that should have been yours” Scott Channell

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is not another train.

Next few months will be super rough. Companies need to survive the present but be ready for the recovery.

Before you even get to sales strategy, tactics, scripts, qualifying or closing there are two qualities you must possess to come out of this poised to rise.

Objectivity and willingness to accept stone hard cold reality.

Let me share a little secret I have learned in the training business. “People” in general do not like having a mirror held up to them. They do not respond well to hearing that they have made mistakes, that lack of results was within their control, that things could have been managed better. No way. If I write an article about common mistakes to avoid or anything reminding people of things they may not be doing right, those articles have the lowest open and time on page rates.

If I write an article on scripts or some super success story. That gets read over and over. People are attracted to what they want, not necessarily what they need.

Interestingly, “people” in general act very differently than those that are most successful.

The most successful, whether it be an owner, manager or sales rep, are very open to hearing “the whole truth,” warts and all. They don’t take it personally. They use such input as an opportunity to learn. To make better decisions in the future.

When accurate reasoned information is provided as to why database quality is poor, 50% of more of their sales time is being wasted, why their scripts are not helping them, the top performers are objective, willing to move on and learn from it. They do not take it personally. Most “people” don’t. They will regale you with stories as to why they did it that way waiting to hear “It’s ok. You did the right thing. It’s not your fault.” PS: they don’t hear that from me.

I wanted to mention these concepts because those that can be objective about their strengths and weaknesses and accept reality quickly, are the ones that will be able to focus on what needs to be done to be ready for the economic recovery. The recovery will come. The question is will you be ready for it.

Good consultants (and sales trainers) are willing to deliver news that is uncomfortable for clients to hear.
The most successful clients want to hear it. Actually welcome it. 

I will often speak to prospective clients that describe their situations and mention that they have hired a couple of sales coaches, tried a couple of programs (Usually flavor of the month miracles,) that nothing has worked and express reluctance to try again. It sucks to be them as they will typically do nothing or make another bad decision. They are doomed to fall farther behind.

I have often wondered how it is that a company can hire multiple “experts” to help them and yet perpetuate systems, practices, scripts that are not close to being right. Either their experts were incompetent, or unethical in the sense that they were not willing to share observations or advice the client would not like to hear. They chose to keep the client comfortable rather than tell them what they needed to hear to improve their business condition.

If you are going to get through this, you do not have time to have your ego tenderly massaged. Time is of the essence. Those that are most likely to survive disasters be it fire, airplane crash or terrorist attack are those that act in “decisive moments.” When faced with mortal peril there are three stages: denial, deliberation and the “decisive moment” where those that survive decide to act and move. Those that do not survive, wait, ponder, pause, see what everyone else is going to do. They are far more likely to perish.

I see companies and reps in three categories. One is unlikely to survive. One is highly likely to do well despite the economic crisis. They third group, whether they come out of this competitive or falling behind depends upon what they do in this “decisive moment.”

Those that were weak in the strong economy be it financial, sales or skillsets are probably toast no matter what they do. It is not in their DNA to change or improve. That is why they were weak when most were strong. Bye bye.

Those that were top performers be it company or sales rep will probably not only survive but gobble up a lot of market share as weaker players disappear or can’t compete effectively. They have the systems, talent and know how. As a sales organization they have been identifying and cultivating ideal clients, have a quality database, higher margin accounts, low client churn and a lot of quality prospects. Ka ching Ka ching.

But the middle group is being presented right now with a “decisive moment.” What they decide will determine whether they go under, fall further behind or are ready to pick up market share when competitors disappear or are not able to compete.

If you cannot be objective right now you will not make the right decisions.
If you cannot accept cold hard truth and reality you will squander valuable time and not pivot in time to compete.
This crisis is a “decisive moment.” Your action or inaction in a very short window of time will probably decide your fate.

What is your decision?














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