Sun Tzu & Business: Quote of the Week
Do you see what’s coming?
“The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambuscade. Startled beasts indicate that a sudden attack is coming.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Ok, an extra on this week’s quote, a new word:
[ am-buh-skeyd, am-buh–skeyd ]
As sales people and entrepreneurs, reading market signs can sometimes be difficult when we have our head down in the weeds, selling and working to grow. Time to look up. Things are crazy out there right now. Inflation is at historic highs, governments are spending and giving like there is no tomorrow and I am afraid we are in for a harsh, harsh winter. Winter is definitely coming.
So, as a salesperson or entrepreneur, how can we read the signs and prepare for what is coming?? Here are some tips to get ready for harsh times:
- Get your personal side in order. As sales people we can sometimes get complacent and used to those commission checks. In good times the cash is flying and we raise our standard of living. Many of the sellers have not experienced trying times and recessionary markets. Organizations halt spending, our contacts get let go, departments get consolidated and budgets disappear or get shifted. There is nothing worse than selling to eat, and desperate sales people make short term decisions that can affect them long term. Make sure you can tighten your belt and handle dry quarters.
- Do you have up-chain and down-chain contacts? As companies and organizations shrink, people disappear. Ensuring you have your sales contact’s boss and worker bees in your CRM can be valuable and eliminate costly delays and extensive work in case your contact’s position get’s eliminated or cut.
- Close like there is no tomorrow. Get your pipeline moving and close, close, close. Are you sandbagging for next quarter? Don’t. Budgets can evaporate and priorities can shift on a dime. If you can get it over the line now, make it happen.
- Evaluate your product and company. Is your company on stable ground, or are you in a startup that needs to raise capital in the coming quarters? Have they just invested in a massive sales expansion? Lift your head up and do a gut check on how your organization can weather the storm.
- Invest in relationships. In hot selling environments, relationships can get neglected and we tend to get transactional. Take the time to enhance existing relationships not only with your prospects, but make the effort in touching base with existing customers and folks in your network.
Just a few thoughts.