Waiting could be your Achilles heel—plus, everything you missed from No More Cold Calling this month.
When the economy slows, the pace of decision making must pick up. Ram Charan, author of 25 books and consultant to CEOs, said that many years ago, but it’s even more relevant now. We need to take action to build our business in these tenuous times.
Learn how to take action in my free Sales Experts Channel presentation—“How to Recession-Proof Your Sales in 9 Killer Steps”—on Tuesday, April 14, at 1:00 Pacific, 2:00 Mountain, 3:00 Central, 4:00 Eastern, and other time zones around the world.
Register here, even if you can’t attend live. You’ll receive the recording.
Learn the nine “Killer Steps” to increase sales in an economic downturn, retain your loyal customers, and attract new business without increasing your cost of sales. These steps are important in any economy—in fact, if we’d been using these sales tools all along, we might be in a better position now. Is your business recession-proof?
In the meantime, here’s what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this month:
Not the “R” Word Again…
What a ride we were on the last few years! The stock market rose to unheard-of levels, and unemployment was lower than ever. Then along came the coronavirus. It began slowly, and we thought it was contained. But it spread rapidly and uncontrolled around the globe. No one was ready. No one was prepared. Now we must get prepared—for COVID-19 and for selling in an economic downturn.
Everyone is impacted by this outbreak, and now we’ve heard the “p” word: pandemic. We’re also hearing the dreaded “r” word: recession. Economists’ forecasts of a recession range from 65 percent to 95 percent, and their projections keep increasing.
The good news is that we’ve been here before, not so very long ago, and we know how to survive (and even thrive) during a recession. The trick to surviving Recession 2020 is to protect your business now so you can keep selling in an economic downturn. (Read “Not the “R” Word Again…”)
How to Ask for a Referral from a Client
“If your customers aren’t selling for you, you won’t have customers.” Those words of wisdom are from Steve Silver, vice president and research director at Forrester (now Sirius Decisions), when he made his 2025 predictions at the 2019 OpStars Conference. No, I didn’t pay him to promote asking for referrals. He’s just a very smart man. One of the first things I ever wrote about was enrolling your clients as part of your sales team. How do you do that? You learn how to ask for a referral from a client—and then you ask every single one of them.
Clients aren’t mind-readers. They don’t always know we want more business. (Yep, that’s for real.) And they frequently don’t know who they should refer to us—because we haven’t asked for referrals and described our ideal client. If you want a pipeline full of qualified sales leads, you need your customers out there selling for you, which means your entire team needs to know how to ask for referrals. (Read “How to Ask for a Referral from a Client.”)
Why You Need to Pick Up the Damn Phone!
I published my second book—Pick Up the Damn Phone!—in 2013. I was alarmed that people had stopped talking to each other. I was perplexed by their over-dependence on technology for practically everything—even to the extreme of texting someone “I love you.” Yep, that’s for real and sent me over the top. I think such personal communication should happen in person, and so should important business communications. That’s how you build and maintain the kind of relationships that help salespeople close deals.
The subtitle of my book says it all: “How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal.” Digital communication works wonders for many aspects of our lives—making dinner reservations, scheduling appointments, ordering products or meals online, booking travel, confirming meetings, etc. It saves a huge amount of time and helps us avoid miscommunications. How many tedious emails have you received, knowing you didn’t need to be copied? How distracting and annoying were those emails? How many of those long email threads could have been resolved with a single phone call? (Read “Why You Need to Pick Up the Damn Phone!”)
Watch a Movie and Ease Your Coronavirus Stress
I’m more anxious than I’ve ever been—except on 9/11 and during the Cuban missile crisis. (Yep, I remember back that far. I was never so scared in my young life.) We live in tenuous times, shuttered-at-home, worried about our income, worried about getting sick, worried about practically everything. Yet, in the midst of all this, I laughed when a close member of my extended family wrote: “In more positive news, handbasket sales are soaring.”
We can stress out about things we can’t control and get way too serious, but laughter … well, as the saying goes, it’s the best medicine. Thankfully, production companies like Disney want to help. (Read “Watch a Movie and Ease Your Coronavirus Stress.”)
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