Our online sales training clients in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver are starting 2016 with a very unique way of thinking. They expect the year to be one of the best ever. In light of current commodity prices, many economic experts would say that’s simply foolish thinking. What gives them that enthusiasm?
We all are aware of the state of the economy. Based on the price of oil, the national media has reported the facts and statistics. That’s it’s job. Unfortunately, it leads many of us to expect 2016 to be a challenging year, where any form of profitability will come from cost control.
Your sales perception
You could accept this reality. Many companies will. Or you could do something about it, realizing that how you perceive this year has a major influence on its final outcome. Know that if you choose to be reactive, you will run the risk of your competition strategizing to be proactive and steal market share.
The best time to advance is when your competition least expects it. We will all have to work harder and offer better customer service levels than we did last year. We have to ensure that we provide great value to our clients and stay in touch with their changing needs. We will have to deal with lower client budgets with the demand of lower rates or risk losing the business.
The Man Who Sold Hot Dogs
This story will help you start 2016 in the right frame of mind. It’s called “The Man Who Sold Hot Dogs.” It pre-dates the web and the original author is unknown. It’s a timeless story about self-fulfilling prophecies and the influence your thinking has on your future. As a Sales Manager, I often shared this story with my sales team.
There was a man who loved his business. He sold hot dogs.
He never had the opportunity for a formal education.
He considered himself to be a simple, hardworking person.
He knew one thing – he sold excellent hot dogs and people loved his personality.
He welcomed everyone with a smile and tried to make everyone’s day brighter.
It worked. People liked his hot dogs. They loved the way he made them feel.
And people bought.
He increased his meat and bun orders and bought a beautiful, modern hot dog cart.
His son graduated from college and wanted to help his Dad out.
But then something happened.
His son said, “Dad, haven’t you heard the news?
The economy is not at all in great shape.
These are tough times and we need to be smart.”
Whereupon the father thought, “Well, my son’s been to college, he knows things that I don’t. We need to take action.”
So the father cut down on the quality of his meat and bun orders. He sold his new hot dog cart and started using the old one. This is the time to reduce expenses and expect lower sales. He said, “When the economy comes back, I will be ready for it.”
And his hot dog sales fell almost overnight.
“You’re right, son” the father said to the boy.
“We certainly are having tough times.”
Here’s my personal takeaway…
In every field of business, there are leaders and followers. The unmistakable mark of the leader is the ability to be proactive. The followers tend to be reactive. Waiting for things to get better will do nothing but make you vulnerable.
This is not the time to be idle. Your net profitability, as always, will be based on two factors – top line revenue growth and bottom line cost control.
Be careful not to sacrifice one for the other. Always be aware of your thoughts. Success starts with what happens between your temples. Your perception often times become your reality.
What do you think? I’m always interested in your comments. Please let me know what you think. If you liked this article, share it on your favorite social media platform.
Plan wisely. Have a great 2016!
Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY
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