Sales vs. Tough Economic Times

October 5, 2008

Q: The economy and all of these bail outs worry me. Usually an economic catastrophe provides opportunities for sales and consulting professionals. However this time it seems that clients are pulling back on most fronts. How can I best strengthen my business pipeline?

A: Business moves fast, so professionals who don't constantly learn new skills and/or methods quickly fall behind in their ability to provide value to clients. Although we nurture long term relationships, you should continually be interested in finding new clients who could benefit from your expertise, products or services. Many companies are getting caught with their proverbial pants down because they laid back on their laurels, reputation and past customers. Now the results are the sales “hopper” is no longer filled with immediate potential sales opportunities thus companies all over the U.S. are scrambling. It makes me feel like we have all forgotten some of the basic concepts of sales 101.

Anyone can sit at home and read a business magazine or book but the most effective way to strengthen our business models are to actively and aggressively engage in the sales process. Now is NOT the time to get into a “wait and see” posture. If you want to be the sales leader, act the like sales leader by getting into the “trenches” and make things happen. If you don’t do it, whom do you expect will do it for you?

We can learn a great deal from hearing about emerging markets, new technologies and new approaches to serving clients. Conferences provide a perfect crucible for getting us out of our safe zones, ward off sales obsolescence, build a national network, and fill our business pipeline. We can't do that from a book or talking to our long term colleagues. Be proactive and remove procrastination from your vocabulary.

It’s the first week of October and we are into the home stretch for the 4th quarter. Hopefully this week will be all you want it to be.


George F. Mancuso, CPC