Don’t have your own personal bad economy

I was half way through last year (2008) and like most sales peo­ple – it was a very chal­leng­ing year. With two kids in col­lege, fail­ure was not an option. Yet, with both new accounts and sales vol­ume on the decline, my com­mis­sions were down and often miss­ing in action.

I’m in the com­puter net­work­ing busi­ness and all of my accounts had more rea­sons not to buy than I had ben­e­fits. On top of it all – all of my invest­ments (stocks, real estate, etc) were los­ing value – sound familiar?

One day I vis­ited my accoun­tant to seek advice. He was installing a new server for his small com­puter net­work. I asked him ‘why would you spend money on a new server while every­one else is hold­ing on to their money?’ He said ‘If my server goes down – I’ll have real prob­lems. I don’t want to have my own per­sonal bad econ­omy.” My accoun­tant saw buy­ing a new server as an invest­ment to pre­vent disaster.

Ener­gized, my busi­ness devel­op­ment focused on older com­puter sys­tems with the high­est risk of fail­ure. Instead of avoid­ing the ‘bad econ­omy’ objec­tion – I embraced it. I would start off meet­ings with the story of my accoun­tant. By not invest­ing, they ran the risk of hav­ing their own per­sonal bad econ­omy. I started ask­ing bet­ter ques­tions and find­ing out what would hap­pen if their com­puter sys­tem failed. How much would it cost then?

My sales improved and so did my com­mis­sions. I went back to basics and began bring­ing up the econ­omy early so it would not be the objec­tion at the end. My accoun­tant reminded me to show return on invest­ment and to help my cus­tomers avoid risk.

Best of all – I avoided my own ‘per­sonal’ bad economy.

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