The Chinese symbol for crisis is composed of two separate symbols that mean opportunity and danger. These two elements always exist simultaneously. They are inseparable.
We hear a lot about cutbacks, layoffs, slow downs and recession. The popular press loves bad news. Why? Because bad news always sells better than good news. Those who get a steady diet of electronic or print news are bound to feel depressed. It is impossible to be fed this stuff without it influencing one’s attitude.
Prior to 2008, business was easy and few sales people were really “put to the test.” The twenty years prior to 2008 were one of the most prosperous times in our history. Those who have been at this game for less than 20 years have never been put to the test and experienced difficult times such as we have now.
The Rules Have Changed
As things have tightened up, companies with stagnate and ineffective sales forces have become frustrated with their inability to sell and compete effectively. And the salespeople, many of whom have never seen a tough market, are getting more frustrated and less productive every day. As many as 30% of those in sales prior to 2008 have left or will leave the profession and most will not be replaced.
As you read this, there are two ways to look at it. Is the glass have full or half empty? Those who see it as half full see a great opportunity to take market share from the lazy and unskilled sales people they compete against. Those who see it as half empty will continue to do things the way they always have and will be marginal producers at best. Eventually, they will exit the profession.
Avoid Becoming One of Them
If you want to remain in sales or if you have sales people working for you and you want insurance against shrinking margins and revenues you need to invest in training that wil lupgrade their skills and make them more profitable.