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Sluggish sales? Ways to get past the excuses and increase profits
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By Bill Blades

Many organizations blame the economy when sales stagnate. What a timely crutch they have found! However, blaming the economy for sluggish sales makes about as much sense as thanking the economy when revenues rise.

Neither option has much business merit.

All sales activity (or lack thereof) is a result of the salesperson's efforts. Whether the economy is up or down is irrelevant. What matters is what your sales team does differently to grow their sales.

Unfortunately, when most organizations encounter a sales slowdown, the top executives refuse to change their game plan. They simply encourage their salespeople to do more of whatever activity is obviously not working, and they refuse to spend the money required to get out of the mess they are in. In the midst of their dilemma, they cannot comprehend that they need to change their approach faster than their industry changes in order to avoid a more severe downturn -- possibly even extinction. Only after it's too late do they realize that sales practices and diapers have one thing in common: they both need to be changed regularly, and for the same reason.

While there's no way to completely guarantee your organization will never face a sales slump, there are things you can do to ensure your team has the mind-set for continued sales success. To keep sluggish sales from continually plaguing your organization, make the following practices a regular part of your sales department's culture.

Embrace and Prepare for Change

Change is difficult for most people. Nevertheless, your sales team must learn to embrace change and prepare for it. Consider this: there is more change represented in the events described in today's newspaper than took place during the entire sixteenth century. The business world is no different. For example, construction industry knowledge completely changes every six years. For the technology industry, the timeframe is even shorter.


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