Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Global Economic Front - Avoiding Sales Pitfalls

There's no escaping the fact that the news from the global economic front is somewhat grim. With the dollar fluctuating on an almost daily basis, and with high redundancy rates and uncertain inflationary pressures, fiscal conservatism is the phrase of the day. In these leaner times, clients are understandably cautious about their financial outlays, and have become much more discerning with respect to distinguishing between 'needs' and 'wants'. The situation for business owners is undeniably challenging. And this is no less true for sales professionals, for whom it may appear that their potential client base has dwindled significantly.

But contrary to popular opinion, the forecast is not entirely negative. There are considerable reasons for optimism, even in such a tough market. In fact, the grim economic situation can actually make your job as a sales professional easier, once you understand how to use it to your advantage. This is because the key to successful sales is the ability to influence people. And the key to influencing people is evoking a positive emotional reaction in them. Of course you can go about this in a straightforward way, by simply inducing a positive correlation between your product and their emotional state. For instance, a client may feel some positive emotion (interest, hope, curiosity) when they first inquire about your product, and by simply demonstrating the benefits of your product, you will escalate their positive feeling from 'good' to 'great'. By virtue of their interaction with you, they will be induced to perceive a positive association with the product itself.

However, an even more effective technique is to stimulate, or take advantage of, a negative emotion about their current situation before demonstrating how effectively your product provides an easy, rapid solution to those negative feelings. In this instance, you effectively move the client through a dramatic range of emotions (i.e. doubt or dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs, good feelings associated with your product, a level of emotional attachment to the product in respect of that association) that culminates in a feeling of relief, enthusiasm and an inclination to purchase your product as a solution to their negative circumstances. And, what could be more negative than the uncertainty that arises in connection with the current economic climate?

So, yes, it is true that you cannot control the economy. But you can control how effectively you hone, and apply, your professional skills. Because in the end, no matter how good or bad the market, human nature itself hasn't changed - people will still buy if given enough good reasons to do so. Your role is to find new, creative approaches to help you provide those reasons convincingly. The following tips and strategies are designed to help you do just that.

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