President/Founder
Adrian Miller Sales Training
www.adrianmiller.com

When times are tough, it’s easy to fall into the trap of unwisely hoping a fairy tale-like customer will miraculously save the day and bring you business on a silver platter. Who wouldn’t like a prince of a client to ride up on a white horse and sweep you away from a slumping economy and faltering sales? Unfortunately, only in a Disney movie does Sleeping Beauty live happily ever after.

In the real world, passively waiting for clients to court you and give you business is a sales strategy doomed for failure. Regardless of how great your product or service is, you need to remain proactive in good times and bad if you’re going to make sales and achieve the success you truly want.

If you’re guilty of being a sales sleeping beauty, it’s time to wake up and start concentrating on the following:

Prospect with Enthusiasm
Prospecting should always be thought of as a priority in your schedule. Don’t wait until you’ve finished everything else to begin this absolutely essential part of business development. Allot yourself a certain amount of time each day for prospecting and focus your efforts on obtaining scheduled appointments to present your offerings. Drop-in visits are rarely successful. Instead, make appointments for when you aren’t an imposition on your prospect’s time, and don’t forget to confirm via phone or e-mail beforehand.

Manage Your Database with Diligence

There is simply no excuse for not using technology to your advantage. Database software is easy to use and provides you with a wealth of tools to keep track of your sales prospect information. Everything from birth date to business details can be efficiently maintained to enable you to be a thoroughly-informed, incredibly capable salesperson.

Sell Smarter
Stay on top of not just your company’s offerings, but your competitors’ as well. Have benefits and features at the tip of your tongue. Keep track of industry trends and events. Continuously put yourself in your customers’ shoes and develop a profound understanding of their needs and wants. Basically, be smart and prepared for answering a wide variety of questions, objections and inquiries from your prospects.

Network Strategically
Networking is more important than ever. If you’re not utilizing online and face-to-face networking opportunities, you’re basically handing business to your competitors. Now is the time to realize the true value of staying connected both within and outside of your industry. Generously provide leads to others, and don’t make assumptions about leads that are provided to you. Often times, those who appear to be the least likely to give you business are exactly the ones that end up surprising you with the biggest sales.