Service Cuts through the Fog of Tough Times

Tom Richard

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It only takes a moment of listening to the news to hear about the difficult economy. Plants are closing, companies are laying off workers, and small businesses are going to be devastated by the lost jobs and diminished local economy.

There is no doubt that your job as a salesperson has become increasingly difficult regardless of what it is you are selling. However, the less than favorable economy does not need to play havoc on your ability to make a living.

While other companies are realigning their cost structures, eliminating the niceties that used to come standard with their product, and finding other equally ineffective ways to adjust to the difficult economy, you’ll be realigning your attitude and getting back to the basics. Not the basics of selling, the basics of serving.

Take a hard look at what you do as a salesperson. You provide help, answers and solutions to your customers by offering them a product. Therefore, the core of your job is in serving your customers.

Is your definition of service to sell your client’s home? Is it helping your client install the kitchen of their dreams? Maybe your definition of service is helping your customers realize significant savings by purchasing everything from one vendor. While the specifics of your service may differ, service still remains at the core of what you do.

When times are tough, it is far too easy to get distracted and begin to overcomplicate the situation. You may be tempted to join the community pity party and spend your hours commiserating with your colleagues.

Instead of wallowing, approach these difficult times with a renewed sense of service. Concentrate on being the absolute best in your field by providing help, answers and solutions to your customers.

Now you may say that there are simply fewer buyers for your product because of the economic times. This may be true, but there are also fewer salespeople who are optimistic enough to get back to the basics of selling.

The truth is you can sell yourself out of any difficult situation. If you invested your time doubling sales, you wouldn’t have to spend time trying to cutting costs.

Cut out the fat, cut out the flash, and just get back to the nuts and bolts of business. Get to the core of the problems that you solve; get to the heart of the matter with your customers. Identify with them on a personal level and solve their problem with the integrity and sincerity of a friend.

In Earl Nightengale’s audio recording, The Strangest Secret, he explains how those who contribute to prosperity will prosper in return. He even defines this as a law of nature. If you are helping others prosper, then you will receive prosperity in return. It is a law; there is no way it cannot happen.

Trust in this law of prosperity. Help others prosper by providing them with the service that you offer. Help them with a renewed sense of service – the wholesome type of service that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside – the type of service that makes you swell with pride as you tell your spouse about what you accomplished today.

There are opportunities everywhere; whether or not you see them is completely up to you. If you waste your time at pity parties, you’ll never find them. During economic difficulty, we realize why we are in business in the first place. The lessons we learn now are those that will propel us to success in times of great prosperity. Only those who hunker down and focus on the customer will make it through to see it.

Tom Richard conducts seminars on sales and customer service topics nationwide. Tom is also the author of Smart Salespeople Don't Advertise: 10 Ways to Outsmart Your Competition With Guerilla Marketing, and publishes a free weekly ezine on selling skills titled Sales Muscle. To subscribe to this free weekly ezine go to


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