Recent economic, political and health events have made people anxious and fearful about their futures. Even though the economy has improved many are still apprehensive about the future. Consolidation is changing many industries. Our high value brands are becoming commodities. Which next step is the right step? At The Sales Experts our business is helping businesses increase their sense of direction, confidence, and capability in all areas of their business and particularly in the way they recruit, sell and market.

In response to many clients’ requests for insight into these challenges we have developed ten strategies for growth, progress and achievement. I hope these strategies support your creative thinking, communications, and actions in the months ahead. The ideas on this page will evolve and change so check back for new and developed insights

1) Execution is the discipline of getting things done. Are you only half way through your ten-year-old five-year plan? Make direct action the spirit of your business and start getting things done. Creating a culture of action requires a leader who is decisive. We must lead the way we would like to be followed.

2) Where the value is clear, the decision is easy. Sales are about relationships, not about the lowest price. Many businesses react to poor business by dropping prices. This only makes you more of a commodity. Every time you strengthen a relationship, however, the value of your product, without you focusing on it, will increase. The value of your business is equal to the depth of all your relationships – with friends, team members, suppliers, clients and prospects.

3) Keep everyone moving in the same direction! Are your biggest limitations the people in your own organization? Make certain everyone is working on the same goal. Does your entire team understand what the goal and vision of the business is? If not start talking to them. Is your staff telling you that your policies are unworkable but you refuse to be moved? Listen to your soldiers in the field and adapt your business to help them become more successful. Don’t force outdated, failing strategies down their throats because that was the way you built the business. The world of selling has changed. It is not about cold calling and knocking on doors anymore.

4) Networking can save your business. The best time to have begun developing the network you need to save your business today was ten years ago. The second best time is today. Networking is something very few people understand well. Most see networking as a method of using social skills to sell– that is absolutely wrong! Networking is not about collecting business cards it is about building real relationships with people who can directly drive your business success. Networking is about giving not getting. It is about trusting that what you sow you shall reap. Networking is not about asking for favors but about giving favors. Help enough people and you have a lot of good will out there! Ask yourself. How much good will can I count on when times are tough?

5) Embrace change. Jack Welch of General electric commented, “If the rate of change inside an organization is less than the rate of change outside…their end is in sight.” Does your organization use your energy and resources to resist change? Of course you do – it is human nature to hold what we have and avoid risk! The problem is that in our rapidly changing world what we are holding today decreases in value tomorrow. Technology, money, and people need to be mixed with new resources to increase their value. Change creates value.

6) Be willing to do the things today that others won’t do in order to have the things tomorrow that others won’t have. A typical human fault is that upon achieving a goal people resist the call to get going and do it all again. When organizations become lazy, reassessment of every decision is the first thing to go. Sloppy decisions invariably follow. Is your organization a little fat and lazy? Can you “suck it up” and go the extra mile to stand apart?

7) We are better than we know! In his book It is Not About the Bike, Lance Armstrong wrote,“The one thing illness has convinced me of beyond all doubt– more than any experience I’ve had as an athlete– is that we are much better than we know. We have unrealized capacities that sometimes only emerge in a crisis.” For many of us business presents challenges that seem beyond us. We have to trust in our business and ourselves.

8) Make every obstacle an opportunity. It is true every obstacle is an opportunity – a chance to prove ourselves. Do we face the challenge or do we walk away? It is not hard for many of us to be good with the wind at our back. Each obstacle presents an opportunity to test our strength and determination. Give up and you learn nothing, face the obstacle and you grow. The same is true for a business or an individual.

9) Prepare for the challenge – take care of your health! It happens to most of us. Our youth is for fighting the fights. As we get older we get to enjoy the fruits and get fat right? Wrong! The world is just too competitive and fast. As long as we are in the game we need to be ready for the fight both physically and mentally. We often need every competitive edge available. How can you mentally fight when your body is toast? See your doctor, hire a fitness trainer and get strong. Today!

10) Create your vision, find your passion. Our work can be a great quest or a long-suffering chore. Get busy living or get busy dying. Create a vision for your business large enough to capture your imagination. Use that vision to create a framework of goals. Keep your eyes on the prize and work your plan. Success will come!

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