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As the economy continues to weaken it’s becoming ever more-apparent to me that we sales people (and business owners) need to team up. In my opinion, it’s possible a lot of us will lose our jobs, or our businesses, in this storm, if we don’t get support from each other.
As we all probably know, the quickest way to make new sales is through existing relationships. As buyers become scarcer in this weak economy, many of us need to think about getting sales quickly to make sure there will be a long-term for our job or business. Accessing already existing relationships is the quickest strategy to do this. But there’s a catch: many of us have already maxed-out our own existing relationships. So what next? How about teaming up?
“I’ll show you my contacts if you show me yours”.
If you can use your existing relationships to get me access to a new account, then I am happy to return the favor. And we don’t have to limit this arrangement to the two of us do we? We can build our own team of sales people who pass referrals between all of us.
OK so that’s not rocket science. But sales people seem to be bad at this. Most sales people are out there operating as lone wolves. This may work well during good times but as times get tough we wolves may need to band together to survive.
All of this may be ringing bells in your head about social networks and indeed these do have a good part to play in this “teaming up”. But we don’t need to limit our interactions to online relationships. Sharing referrals is going necessitate that we establish a decent amount of trust between us. Most likely I will want to meet you in-person (or over the phone at least) before I introduce you to any of my personal contacts.
Starting online then moving offline is a good strategy. Take a look at these “sales 2.0” tools/networks out there to help you start connecting and partnering with other sales people: LinkedIn, Allyforce, Inquisix and Salesconx. Once you’ve got a good online relationship with someone take the conversation offline (into the “real world”) by setting up an introductory phone call or in-person meeting.
I’m steering our own ship through this “economic storm” too. I would love to partner up with other talented sales professionals and business owners. If you’d like to connect with me so we can start building a partnering relationship, connect with me on LinkedIn and/or join our brand new Sales 2.0 LinkedIn group (so we can all build a killer sales team).