What a roller coaster, this up-and-down economy! First 2001-2002, then the Recession of 2008-2009. Now we hear that the recovery will be slow and we might even experience a double dip. Everywhere you turn, budgets are being cut. How are we supposed to sell in this volatile economy?

Here are nine killer steps to boost your sales:

  1. Broaden your perspective/narrow your focus. Is your sales and marketing focus working? What business are you in? Gather a team of advisors and listen to their ideas. Build new alliances or alternate distribution channels.
  2. Stay connected. Continue to stay in touch with everyone. Get out there and attend as many events as you can. Up your activity on social media. Talk to people you haven’t seen in awhile.
  3. Be nimble and innovative. You’ll never have all the facts, so make quick decisions. There’s no time to dawdle. As the economy slows, the pace of your decision-making must speed up.
  4. Dazzle your current customers. Do this if you do nothing else. They are your best source of new business and your most treasured referral source. Don’t ignore them.
  5. Prioritize wisely. Each day, do what’s “closest to cash” first. Don’t get caught in the email jungle. Prioritize high-payoff activities and don’t be afraid to call it quits if a strategy isn’t delivering results.
  6. Become the expert. When money is tight, companies hire experts—they can’t afford to make mistakes. Position your company as the expert with a specific product or a specific market niche.
  7. Don’t cut your price. If you start to discount, you’ll go deeper and deeper into a hole.
  8. Talk ROI. Make the business case. Connect the dots between the client’s problem and your solution. Monetize—demonstrate savings and results.
  9. Commit to building your referral business. You get the meeting with the decision-maker when you receive a referral introduction. You’ll shorten your sales process, ace out the competition and gain a new client more the 70 percent of the time.

Yes, the sales landscape has changed. It will never be the same (and probably shouldn’t). We must continually evaluate and adjust our business strategies and, in many cases, work differently in order to succeed.

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Joanne Black is a professional sales speaker, sales webinar leader, and author of “No More Cold Calling: The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust” from Warner Business Books. Visit www.nomorecoldcalling.com. © Copyright 2011 Joanne S. Black. All rights reserved.