“No one cares that the ‘peso was devalued’, or ‘the customer went bankrupt’, or, ‘a new competitor opened next door, or ‘the economy was lousy. You either made the sale or you didn’t. Even earthquakes don’t count.’”
Dear Seller, Get cracking! The electioneering period is over. Triggered by the protracted political climate, the tension that has been hanging over our head the better part of this year can only begin dissipating with the President’s inauguration this past Tuesday. The tension is dissipating with, “the political climate was not conducive to selling” as your reason for your dwindling sales.
Ideally, you should have been actively doing non-direct sales activities, especially prospecting- the lifeblood of sales. And prospecting both for new clients and within your existing ones. The new ones would open up because they would not be feeling the pressure to buy; after all, they have the perfect excuse: “Let the politics settle down first.” As for the existing ones identifying patterns in their purchase habits or opportunities to cross sell or deep sell (selling more of the same) would be easier because you now have more time on your hands to do so. In addition to prospecting, you could also have been researching (new markets) and sharpening your product knowledge too. None of these crucial activities would have been adversely affected with the discouraging political climate and hopefully you took to them with gusto. Active selling wasn’t lost to some progressive sellers though. One I know completed everything that needed to be done with the prospect and they agreed he will sign 14 days after the swearing-in. He is currently counting down to closing a sale.
Fortunately your (pressing political pressures) reasons for your poor performance were not dismissed as excuses with the admonition, “Earthquakes don’t count.” This rebuke was propagated in the book ‘How To Become a Rainmaker’ and is made to vehemently negate any excuse as to why you did not meet your targets. It says, “No one cares that the ‘peso was devalued’, or ‘the customer went bankrupt’, or, ‘a new competitor opened next door, or (as in our case) ‘the economy is (was) lousy. You either made the sale or you didn’t. Even earthquakes don’t count.’”
If you actively engaged in the non-direct selling activities aforementioned, you will hit the ground running. If you had blanketed the ‘lousy economy’ reason to justify your inertia, then you have plenty of work to do. And it doesn’t help that we are going into the December period when, to quote another salesperson I know, “The system shuts down.” This system here refers to both the salesperson and the environment. If this is you, then this December is different; you may not find it prudent to proceed on leave as perhaps has been your custom. Take this time to engage in those activities the progressive seller did during the lull uncertainty-filled period; especially prospecting. Take heart-the uncertainty had been hanging over everyone; meaning your prospects (especially if you are a business-to-business seller) are likely to be more actively engaged jump starting their stagnated businesses this December than they would be in the past ones. For you this means that they are psychologically prepared for you. So, get cracking!
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