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Prepare Yourselves - There Are Few Easy Sales in Tough Times!


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As the economy grows tougher, and it will, we’re going to witness a resurgence of petal-to-the-metal selling techniques.

We’ll reprise such standards as:

(1) Cold calling

(2) Answering objections

(3) Requesting referrals

(4) Telling instead of asking, and

(5) Closing.

These are the essentials of traditional selling, and it’s very, very possible, even if you’re an experienced seller with five or more years under your belt, that you’re clueless about these methods. You never had to learn them or deploy them

In hot economies, and we’ve been in one since interest rates plummeted post 9-11, no selling is required. It’s like one of those pre-made, instant dinners. Pop one into the microwave, and you’re done.

But in trying times, you need to cook from scratch, assembling various ingredients, taste-testing for quality and flavor, and minding the stove as your meal simmers. Then, at the right moment, you bring the cooking phase to a close.

In a word, selling becomes a lot more work. To use an old expression, it isn’t equivalent to shooting fish in a barrel, anymore.

In good times, selling is like a “Field of Dreams. ” If you build it, they will buy.

But in adverse circumstances, you have to “build” buyers, too, manufacturing them.

I’ve seen a number of economic cycles, and the story never changes. As my college Economics professor said, when the going gets rough, a shakeout occurs, typically across industries.

And the first castoffs are the flakes that could act as capable order-takers, but they never evolved, or should we say, they never devolved into order-MAKERS.

I suggest you go to a library and look for some good sales books from the late 70’s and early 80’s. They’re out there.

But I wouldn’t invest a dime or your time in recent volumes, because the chances are very good that those supposed professionals have never been tested, either.

Their “permission” based, “non-manipulative” and magical selling solutions won’t get them very much business in the tougher times around the corner.

Dr. Gary S. Goodman is a top trainer, conference and convention speaker, and sales, service, and negotiation consultant. A frequent expert commentator on radio and TV, he is also the best-selling author of 12 books, more than a thousand articles. and several popular audio and video training programs. His seminars are sponsored internationally and he is a top-rated faculty member at more than 40 universities, including UC Berkeley and UCLA. Gary brings over two decades of sales, management and consulting experience to the table, with some of the best academic credentials in the speaking and training industry. A Ph. D. from the Annenberg School For Communication at USC, an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management, and a J. from Loyola Law School, his clients include several Fortune 1000 companies and successful family owned and operated firms.

His web site is: and he can be seen on CNBC at: and reached at:


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