by Pat Schuler
Do you feel like you’re spending a significant portion
of your day or week putting out fires? More so than you
Do many things seem to get complicated, cumbersome and
Do you often find yourself feeling weary and frustrated
at the end of the day, like you’ve been pushing the boulder
uphill all day?
We hear many prospective clients blaming their fatigue
and frustration on the current state of their markets
and the economy. What we usually find as we do our discovery
work is that these sales professionals and business owners
have the following in common:
• They are working longer hours and seeing fewer results.
• Their prices and profits are being eroded.
• Negotiations are tougher because they feel so much of
the power lies with the buyer.
We’ve all heard “Work smarter, not longer.” Easier said
than done in this economy. Many of us are working smarter
AND longer. And still feeling as though we fall short
of our goals at the end of the week or month. Or that
we really need another 4 hours each day, or another day
in the week.
Yes, the economy may have changed our market. But we
need to ask ourselves, “What else has changed?” “Have
I changed my sales process or behaviors without realizing
Our experience with clients who are working extremely
long hours is that:
1. They may be trying to be all things to all people,
instead of concentrating on their strengths or moving
to a new area of specialization.
2. They may be pursing business that is marginal or very-low
profit, hoping to make it up in volume.
3. They may be letting the prospect drive the time and
negotiation of the sale, for fear of losing the deal.
4. They may be in reactive mode, instead of proactive
mode; survival tactics instead of winning strategy.
5. They may be acting from fear and desperation, and are
either already in burn out, or very close.
The pivot question I want you to ask yourself this week
Am I just reacting or am I working my strategic plan?
Do I even have a strategic plan, besides Let’s Try to
Keep the Lights On?
1. Set aside 30 minutes of quality time for yourself
and get a rough draft of your Strategic Plan on paper.
It doesn’t have to be a 30 page marvel. It can be one
page, or even a 3X5 card. But get a direction down and
some bullet points on how to get there.
2. Set aside another 30 minutes to brain storm with your
team on ways to strengthen and fine tune your rough draft.
Have everyone on the team sign it, and make copies for
everyone to carry.
3. Schedule periodic times for the team to review and
revise the Strategic Plan, and honor the commitments,
no matter what.
Leverage the great power in creating your Strategic Plan
and having everyone on the team carrying the same vision
and pulling in the same direction.
Ask yourself, If business were good, would I make this
concession? Are my actions telegraphing desperation to
the prospect? As a buyer, how comfortable would I feel
doing business with desperate people?
This week, on a small deal, try acting as if, as if you
already had your goals made and had all the business you
needed. See what it feels like to regain control of your
sale, even in a small way.
Empowering Articles for those in Sales
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"Pat Schuler is a Business Development Coach and
Sales Trainer. She is also President and founder of The
Gemini Resources Group, which helps business, technical
and sales professionals increase their revenue a minimum
of 30 %. Clients learn to unfold the mystery that sometimes
surrounds selling skills as they move from anxiety and
fear to action and success.
Contact The Gemini Resources Group at email@example.com
or 763-533-2806 to find how you can see revenue increases
of 30% minimum.”
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