Thrive in tough times

Why some small businesses thrive in tough times while others do not survive

Because I travel a lot, I get to speak with many small business operators and salespeople in different locations and different industries. So often I find people doing well and doing badly in the same location in same industry. So why would one business be thriving and one be struggling, faced with the same market conditions?

In one word… SKILLS.

Steve Walton, a graduate of our Top Gun sales mentoring program, said something to me last week that stuck in my head and I thought back to the last big recession. Steve said that during tough times:

Good salespeople will become great salespeople, while the ‘order takers’ will be in big trouble!

So true, Steven, and we are training salespeople now who are indeed becoming great salespeople and highly sought after. So what are these sales professionals doing?

Ian’s story

Because Ian is relatively new to sales, he decided to get really serious about being successful in sales. So Ian committed to himself and invested in himself and stared doing two hours of sales training each week. He decided to develop the skills he needed to achieve his goal.

Ian’s first BMW

One of Ian’s goals was to own a new BMW. In less than 12 weeks Ian became his company’s No.1 salesperson nationally. He was selling big contracts to paint commercial buildings. First he started to become very successful in Melbourne, and then he went and sold in Sydney too. Ian became the highest performing sales professional in his company and I suspect in his industry.

Ian decided to go for big orders, despite the shrinking number of companies prepared to spend big dollars. He invested several thousand dollars in himself to develop the skills he needed to beat the competition.

He did this, not by cutting his prices, but by developing a relationship with his prospects, developing high levels of trust and credibility, and by understanding their needs, and then Ian sold on value for money. It was a winning formula for success. Ian has now taken delivery of his first new BMW and he’s smiling from ear to ear.

Ian beat the competition, not by cutting his prices, but by developing high levels of trust and credibility with his prospects and by understanding their needs. Then he sold on value for money.

This winning formula is working for other sales professionals who understand that for sales to get better, they must get better.

Good salespeople will become great salespeople now, because they will develop better skills to beat the competition and take away their competitor’s market share. They will invest in books, audio programs, sales workshops on-line sales coaching programs etc to become the very best they can be. And their investment will pay off, big time.

Average salespeople and companies will do the opposite. They will cut back on spending and expect sales to go down. It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy

Ian believed business would be good for him and it was. Ian became a Generation 4 Sales Professional, and then a Generation 5 Sales Professional. His prospects and clients saw him as their ‘friend in the business’.

Wayne Berry, CEO TOP GUN Business Academy International