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HOW TO SELL ANYTHING

7 Tips for Selling in a Weak Economy

The economic recovery may be dragging, but that doesn't mean you can't be successful. Here are our favorite tips from the experts.
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While the economy has been showing a few signs of recovery, it's pretty clear that we're in for a long period of lackluster growth.

With this in mind, here are seven tips from top sales gurus for selling in a weak economy.

1. Don't Focus on Your Fear

You may be worried about the economy, your job, and everything else, but you can't let those worries rule your thoughts and actions. Don't waste precious enthusiasm dwelling on bad news. Rather than listening to the radio when you're on the road, listen to motivational CDs and MP3s. Source: Omar Periu.

2. Go on the Offensive

This isn't the time to hunker down. If you get on the defensive, you're dead. Instead, get more aggressive and set more aggressive goals. Use multiple points of customer contact, like your call center and product support website, to create new opportunities. Source: Gerhard Gschwandtner

3. Create New Pricing Options

Work with your finance team to create alternative financing plans, delayed payments, subscription fees, discounts, and other new and innovative ways to lower the risk of purchase. Make it an easy entry and a better customer experience. Source: Gerhard Gschwandtner

4. Re-prioritize Your Opportunities

A challenging economy tends to shake up the business landscape. A company that even recently looked like a hot prospect might be a loser today–and vice versa–so run though your list of opportunities and prioritize them based upon their likelihood to buy now. Source: Linda Richardson

5. Network, Network, Network

Pick up the phone, call your best customers, and ask them to refer you to one or two people in their own business network. Beyond that, attend a minimum of one face-to-face networking event (like a seminar, conference, or meet-and-greet) every week. Source: Joanne Black

6. Stick to Your Sales Process

Set up an ambitious schedule of working through the steps of your sales process. The regularity of making your 20 cold calls, or 10 referral calls, every day, creates a sense of accomplishment, even if your conversion rate is lower than you'd like it to be.  Source: Julie Thomas

7. Decide to Enjoy Yourself

Your challenge is to keep enjoying yourself and your job, even when times are tough. If you've got the emotional moxie to stay positive when everyone else kvetching about the bad economy, this could be one of most successful periods of your entire career. Source: Omar Periu.

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Last updated: Apr 18, 2012

GEOFFREY JAMES

Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.




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