Don Hutson: Sales Strategies for a Tough Economy

There can’t be a person on the planet who
remains untouched by the economic stress
that unfolded in the past year. This new
normal continues to re-create itself daily,
and just about the time we think we’ve got
it figured out, something new emerges.

It is time to turn on our afterburners, ramp up our courage
and reject the mindset of the fainthearted. The truth is, we have
choices in these tumultuous times. We can go toward abundance
with a positive determination, or we can go toward scarcity,
which invariably evokes fear, dread and stilted confidence.

I recently coached a client who voiced concerns over his
25 percent decrease in sales. At the risk of an oversimplistic
response to his concerns, I suggested that he get his team
members tuned in to a new strategy and work 25 percent
harder and 25 percent smarter in these challenging times.
There is a lot to be said for increasing call count, collaborating
more diligently with customers and then enthusiastically
going to market with renewed vigor and imagination.

So how do we program ourselves and our team members
to go the extra mile when battered with negative headlines?
There are two actions that, if mastered, will transform your
possibilities and inspire you to learn new skills that can make
a measurable difference.

The first is this: Have you ever wondered why some high
performers consistently outperform their peers? Is it their
exceptional IQ? Is it the fact that they work longer hours? These
factors play a part, but why is it that some precious few sales
professionals seem to possess a magical ability to compress more
achievement into a given measurable time frame than others?

This is the most frequently asked question I have received
in some four decades in the speaking and training business,
and after much studied observation, I think I have finally
figured it out.

Would you agree that most high performers are up? Their
attitude is positive, their expectations are high and their
demeanor is refreshing. They have a source of propulsion that
has proven to keep them pumped up for success and achievement.
So what is it exactly that propels them into this sphere
of attitudinal excellence? Different people tap into different
sources, but all high achievers have one that works for them.
It might be reading self-help books and magazines, listening
to educational CDs in the car, attending seminars, or working
with their mentors. But in the absence of a viable propulsion
source, you will most assuredly head to the doldrums as a
result of simple gravity.

Secondly, in addition to being up, could we also agree
that most high performers are good at what they do? Like a
source of propulsion will impact positively on our attitude,
sound training and development strategies will give us the
cutting-edge skills to position us for superb performance. The
consumer continues to drive the bar of excellence up every
year, and we must rejuvenate our skill sets with the best strategies
out there to make progress. If we hang with old habits,
our productivity will decrease over time.

So the question for you to consider is this: Do you think
high performers are up because they are good, or are they good
because they are up? The answer is yes! These two powerful
forces ignite each other. The better we become, the better our
attitude is, and the better our attitude is, the hungrier we are
for the best ideas and skills. This reality creates tremendous
torque that results in positive momentum, which helps high
performers retain their status as exceptional producers.

Don Hutson is a speaker, trainer and author of 10 books, including
The One Minute Entrepreneur, a New York Times best-selling
book he co-authored with Ken Blanchard. He’s also the CEO of U.S.
Learning, based in Memphis, Tenn.

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