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Jeff's Selling & Success Newsletter
January 2008

Dear Jeff,

Thanks for reading my newsletter! If you find it useful please forward it to a friend or colleague via the forward link at bottom of the page. You can visit my website at www.jgsalespro.com.

Important note: In last month's issue I highly recommended a terrific business coach whose services I've used. Her name is Stephanie Vaughan. It turns out she moved and I gave you the wrong phone number to reach her. If you are considering using a coach, that can absolutely help you take your business to the next level, I urge you to call Stephanie at 503- 690-7462 or on her cell at 971-222-9738.

  • Recession 2008? What will You Do?

  • Recession 2008? What will You Do?

    Last week I attended a networking meeting of the organization I belong to, American Business Associates. (www.aba-ny.com) I belong to this organization for three reasons: I get leads/referrals which turn into business, the members are a great group of people, and it's run by the Queen of Networking, Ellen Volpe. Ellen has dedicated the last 20 years of her life helping businesspeople connect and get more business and she is a leading expert in the field. I'm honored to know her and to be able to call her a friend.

    At this particular meeting Ellen brought up the subject of the possible upcoming recession and, with her gracious permission, I'd like to share some thoughts on how you can prosper in 2008 even if a recession becomes a reality.

    First, it doesn't really matter whether we have a recession or not. What truly counts is if people think we're in a recession. Perception often equals reality and if people and companies think we're in a recession they will act as if we are, whether one exists or not. That means budgets will be tightened or cut and selling goods and services will, for most of us, be harder.

    Next, what could be a disaster for some could mean huge opportunity for others. Unfortunately for me, training is often the first line item that gets cut when money gets tight. This doesn't make sense because if it's harder for the sales team to sell that is the exact time they should be better equipped to do their jobs and training is one way to better equip the sales team. But my opinion doesn't matter because I don't control the budget at my client's or prospect's companies. Still, I'm looking at different, creative ways to market my services in addition to going back to basics like cold calling. It might take more calls to find a prospect but it still works. Let's look at the other side. While it's tougher for me to sell, if you offer goods or services that help companies save time or money the possible recession could be a boom time for you. Companies that outsource, like payroll or IT outsourcing companies, should find the tightening economy actually helps them. The point is, it's not necessarily time to panic. Assess your situation, strategize and adjust where necessary.

    Something else to keep in mind is that you should consider the 80/20 rule. Most of you are aware that 80% of your business typically comes from 20% of your customers. But when was the last time you evaluated your customer list and ranked them according to dollar volume or profitability as it relates to you? When was the last time you got in contact with your clients, especially your best clients? The general rule is that it's between 6 and 8 times easier and less expensive to sell more to an existing client than it is to develop a new one. While you constantly need to add new business to your client list you should never make the mistake of ignoring your current customers. Your competition isn't ignoring your customers, are they? (nope, they want to steal them away from you!) Don't give your clients an excuse or reason to change vendors. I suggest a well thought out plan for how to stay "top-of-mind" with your customers. It's one of the reasons I send out this newsletter. Keeping in touch can bring business your way that you might not otherwise get.

    I do business with several divisions of a major corporation here on Long Island. Two of those divisions operate out of the same building. You can bet your bottom dollar that each time I'm in the building training one of those divisions I always drop in on the other group to say hi. I do this for two reasons. One is that I genuinely like the people I work with at both of these organizations and it's always a pleasure to have the chance to chat for a few minutes. The other is, and I know this for a fact, that I have gotten business from them that I might not have otherwise got if it wasn't for the personal touch of dropping by to say hello. Be sure to ask for referrals too!

    Here's another idea: Find out who sells non-competing goods or services to your clients. (ask your clients, they'll tell you) Form alliances with those people to trade leads. Whether there's a financial incentive or not everyone benefits when referrals are passed. For example, I often sell to the Vice President of Sales at an organization. In thinking about who else might sell to them I quickly came up with premiums/incentives organizations and people who sell contact management software. Since I don't compete with those people there should be no hesitation on their part, or mine, to trade information on clients we sell to. It works to everyone's advantage. Tip: When prospecting or selling to a referral be extra professional and go out of your way to make the person who referred you look good.

    Finally, I was having a conversation with one of my mentors last week. His name is Steve and he's one of the smartest humans I personally know. In discussing leads and lead generation he told me that he had "changed his philosophy" on cold calling to a more strategic approach. Rather than call everyone in the universe hoping to convince them to take a meeting with you, he advised me to "Look for the people that are looking for you." Well, if you've ever attended one of my seminars you've heard me say you should, "Look for the fish that are biting." Similar, but Steve takes it one step further. There are people out there, right now, who want what you offer. Sometimes we call this low-hanging fruit. There's nothing wrong in going after the low-hanging fruit first. For some of us, who have a wide universe of potential prospects (e.g. - I can sell to any company that has salespeople anywhere in the world) the low-hanging fruit is probably enough to keep me busy. For others, with a small defined territory, it might not be enough to make your quota for the whole year but it's certainly a good place to start.

    Think strategically. If every rain cloud has a silver lining then every negative has the possibility of being turned into a positive. If you take the time to think and plan, a recession (whether real or imagined) doesn't have to hurt.

    As always, I'm happy to take your calls and e- mails with questions. I reply to all calls and e- mails within 24 hours no matter where in the world I am.

    Now, go out and Make It Happen!


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    Jeff Goldberg & Associates is a sales training, consulting and professional speaking firm specializing in helping salespeople at all levels sharpen their skills and close more business more profitably. The training and workshops are based on Jeff's 34 years of experience as a sales trainer, salesperson and sales manager.

    Specific areas of concentration are: How to get more appointments, How to sell more effectively and How to close more business. We offer programs that help sales managers be more effective leaders as well as workshops on customer service, presentation skills and many others.

    Besides our standard programs we have the ability to create custom workshops designed to be more closely aligned to a specific industry or culture.

    Jeff is also available for keynotes and other speaking opportunities.

    phone: 516-608-4136

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    Jeff Goldberg & Associates | 76 Troy Avenue | Long Beach | NY | 11561