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BOO HOO! Business is tough

By Gavin Sharples

Just the other day I was to address a property group at the Wild Coast. The CEO had a new strategy, to spend the entire morning motivating his company on being positive during these “tough times”.

He pointed out by comparison to countries world over that the times were indeed tough but compared to places like New Zealand, Australia, England and America, we still have it easy.  He used these as examples not so much as economic comparisons but due to the fact that these are the places most South Africans talk about emigrating to.

So what do we do when times get tough?

  1. Acknowledge and accept that we have to work twice as hard to get less than before.
  2. Understand that your clients are also suffering and turn it into a positive by adding value, being understanding and doing more.
  3. Traditional wisdom says, cut costs and batten down the hatches. I say cost should always be managed and now is the time to promote, add value and get out there.
  4. Most businesses are coming out of massive highs so realistically we are still up on say 2001. So be realistic.
  5. Get back to basics and do what made you great in the beginning. Sell, tell, market, network and connect.
  6. Work smarter and harder, giving more for less and always concentrate on the value-add that costs you nothing but means so much.
  7. Stop the negative talk and turn problems into opportunities. Have positive meetings and call in the experts. Include your customers in a joint mind rev.
  8. Come up with ideas for your clients on how they can grow their bottom line.
  9. Stick to your knitting. During tough times we can lose focus on the important stuff. We may even look to revenue streams. Stick with what you know and take it to the next level.
  10. Learn from tough times and plan for them during the easy times. Look for opportunities in everything and while others are moaning, move in and make a difference.

Bonus: Run your business now as if you lost another 30% to 40% of your income.  If it happens you will glide through it, if it does not, you will be ahead of the game.

 Stop selling and start helping

This one simple idea will power you to unbelievable success in sales.  Money will pour in, friends will be plentiful and you will not only gain the respect of colleagues and clients but your profession will take on a special meaning.

Stop selling to people!  People hate to be sold to. They love to buy things or invest in solutions.

H.E.L.P.  – Help Everyone Liberate their Potential.

A typical sales situation is a person with a problem meeting with a person that could possibly assist with or even solve their problem.

Before your next sales interview, stop, now focus on the prospect.  Place yourself in his position and treat him with the same respect, care and dignity that you would expect to be treated with.

5 Meaningful Questions

  1. Do you have any specific long-term goals? What is one and how do you plan on reaching it?
  2. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  3. When has your life dramatically changed as the result of some seemingly random external influence?
  4. How much do you feel in control of the course of your life?
  5. If you knew that you were to die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living?

How to be happy

Don Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements)

  • Be impeccable with your word. Your words have real power. Use them wisely and always talk yourself up; never down.
  • Do not take anything personally. Nothing other people do to you is because of you. It is because of them.
  • Do not make assumptions. By making assumptions we are asking for problems. We misunderstand, we take it personally and we end up creating a drama out of nothing.
  • Always do your best.  No more and no less.

Gavin Sharples is a headline speaker at Sales Indaba – hosted in Jo’burg on 20 July 2017 – brought to you by the NSBC and World Famous Events.

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