Sales People, Let’s Support Ourselves!

Gee, how much more bad news do we need?

I think it’s great for news stations and newspapers. I know I can’t help looking at the Wall Street Journal site five times day to see how much the Dow Jones is down but I also know that is NOT helping me sell more.

I’m also pretty sure a lot of us sales people are feeling pretty worried/scared right now.

“Is my company going to cut some jobs soon?” “Don’t companies often lay off their sales people first?” Most of us know cutting sales people during a downturn is a big mistake (and we don’t even know if this is a real downturn yet). Companies that don’t market during a recession are in a really weak position when things start to improve. But even though CEOs know this they often still cut sales people because they feel compelled to cut costs in the short term and don’t care about two years hence – basically because they need to save their jobs.

But the longer I spend in the “sales industry” the clearer it is to me that highly-skilled sales people are in short supply. I believe this will continue to be the case even if we go into fairly deep recession. Every company I talk to seems to want more sales people and even if some companies start cutting back and not hiring sales people, sales talent will always be in demand.

Hence, if you are committed to being a professional sales person and want to stay with it as your career, I predict you will have no problem finding a job even if things get “dark” with the economy. But how about making your journey through the tough economy easy – or at least easier?

Too much of the time sales people “fly totally solo”. This fits the cliché of the sales person as the “lone wolf” hunting for meat. But does this cliché really make sense when you need all the help you can get to sell in a market where buyers have less budget to spend? I don’t think so.

Consider the other sales people in the world. They likely feel just as concerned as you about the future. Why not reach out to them and start building support structures for yourself? How about starting to connect with other sales people to partner up on business development and knowledge sharing? Form your own “sales team”.

If you are a sales person, you have a complicated and challenging job. Trying to do it all alone, especially in a downturn, is a huge burden. Why not share the load with others? Why not build yourself a team to help you sell (a lot) even during tough times. Even wolves work together when necessary.

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