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Fear In Techland – Sales troubles ahead?

January 19, 2008

I’m hearing that many technology sales people are complaining that deals that were suppose to get done are being postponed and that prospects are fearing the loss of jobs. If this is true, we only have to look at history to know what to do. This is the time when products/services that don’t save or make a company money will not sell. Fluff or me too just won’t cut it. Sales people who have not learned to really sell in bad times won’t be successful.

Absolute have to do’s in a down market:

1.) Fully understand your products/services

2.) Spend the time to fully research the target company and contact before calling on them, and then spend more time researching before your first meeting.

3.) Ask the right questions of your prospect and listen for their answers. Don’t think you know it all.

4.) If you don’t know how to cold call you had better learn (this is for those folk who’ve never had to do it or never became good at it. In a down market many companies cut cost by getting rid of the people who where garnering leads for salespeople. Keep your pipeline full of QUALIFIED prospects

5.) Know your competition well

6.) Know how to overcome objections in advance of any meetings (practice, practice, practice overcoming all the known objections)

7.) Develop a strategy for each account – don’t do the same thing every time.

8.) Keep up your education about sales, trends in your industry, competition and what your company is doing

9.) Work closely with marketing to come up with ways to target more/new prospects

10.) Increase the amount of networking events you attend. Do in-person and online. Know about social media and Web 2.0 tactics

You might be saying to yourself at this point that sales people should be doing these things all the time in both up and down markets and your right, the difference being that those that have been doing these things all along are the one’s that are keepers if things get bad.

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