Business Man Pointing The Text: Focus On Results

“When the economy is booming, almost any product is easy to sell; when the economy tightens you need to double down on your sales system to turn leads into sales.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta

The Reason Your Sales System Isn't Working Is NOT the Economy

Over the past few months, there has been a dramatic shift in the perception of prospects I’ve been talking to – especially when you compare them with my clients’ perception of the market. A few months ago, many business owners and sales managers were confident in their ability to make ‘enough sales to meet income targets and quotas’. Now they’re struggling because their prospects are nervous about the future and their communication skills and sales systems aren’t robust enough to cope.

One of my clients made the following comment,

“When the GFC was looming in 2008 (it hit Australia later and less dramatically than other parts of the world) we saw exactly the same thing – making sales of your product or service went from being like offering candy to a toddler, to being more like offering meat to a vegan. It took a genuine ability to understand where the prospect stood and what they cared about, to communicate that understanding, and to offer your product in ways that made it easy for them to say ‘Yes’. Suddenly, sales skills and systems shifted from ‘nice to have’ to ‘critical for survival. The same thing is starting to happen now and it’s slowly spreading from one industry to another. It’s time to brush up on your sales systems and skills… Or pay the price.

We went on to discuss the fact that it’s not the economy per se that is the problem, it’s how you present your offer in the new climate.

If you keep on doing what you’ve always done in your sales process you will no longer get what you’ve always got… You’ll keep getting fewer sales and less revenue.

The Sales System You Need in a Boom Will No Longer Serve You!

Sally (name changed to protect her privacy) has been in one of my NLP Sales Mastery groups for several years. She’s one of the sales managers at a mid-sized company and she’s chosen to invest in her communication skills so she can also pass them onto her team. Until just a couple of months ago, there was very little difference in the performance of her team and others, but as the economy started to tighten, she discovered that she was closing significantly more sales than her team, and that her team was performing better than all the others. Her colleagues were coming to her and asking what she was doing and whether she could help them develop the same skills and systems.

That’s great for me, because I was contracted to train and develop all the sales teams at her company, but it also demonstrates how the economy is changing and the importance of being prepared for a downturn.

A Successful Sales System is No Longer About Slick Sales Skills… If It Ever Was!

The key reason that my sales trainings are so popular is that they are effective. I really can turn the sales-allergic into sales-enthusiastic because I focus on communication skills. Most people who have an ‘icky feeling’ about sales have that feeling because they think of sales as one person pushing the other into an agreement they don’t really need. I teach people to walk away from sales where your product won’t benefit the prospective buyer and won’t deliver far more value than the money they are paying. You’d think that would lead to fewer sales and appointments, but it actually leads to more sales.

Effective salesmanship was never about shoving a contract in front of someone and forcing them to sign, it was always about discovering what problem the prospect wants to solve and determining whether your solution fits their needs and budget. When the economy is good and interest rates are low, businesses spend freely so you don’t really need to develop rapport and communicate with sincerity, but when interest rates rise those things make all the difference. It doesn’t matter how good your sales scripts are, or how well designed your follow up is if your salespeople can’t establish a genuine connection.

By the same token, it doesn’t matter how good their communication skills are if your salespeople aren’t supported by robust sales systems that enhance their results. I’m a big believer in continued professional development that focuses on expanding personal skills, not merely providing ‘hacks and techniques’ and communication is one of those areas of personal growth that many sales teams don’t focus on… or not until they absolutely must!

The Truth About Sales Systems

“A sales system is only as good as the people who use it… But without good systems, skilled people can underperform.”

That truth is just as applicable to sales as it is to exercise, nutrition, health interventions, and education.

If you don’t have a system for taking care of your health, you’ll quickly lose track of essential medications, dietary needs, exercise, and other important factors. If there’s no system for education (ie curriculum), kids won’t learn to read, write, count, and think.

At the same time, if you don’t have skilled doctors and inspiring teachers, the ‘system’ will only take you so far.

Your sales system is just as essential as those other things, yet too many companies are asking their sales team to fly by the seat of their pants and at best have just a few parts of a system in place. Many of them are then surprised to find that even their star salespeople struggle with morale and performance when the economy tightens.

A sales system is vital if you want to keep your revenues growing and your sales team motivated.

Are You Giving Your Sales Team the Support and Systems they Need?

Many sales systems focus on techniques that are outdated or offer a structured approach that is transient and non-transferable. I’ve attended some sales training where you can’t even use the material you learned in a different department of the same organisation. My sales training focuses on human performance skills and the systemic elements that drive that performance. When I train inside an organisation, obviously we develop systems that are specific to that organisation or department and focus on the specific value-building and context of the product, but I also teach the principles that can be applied in any sales team.

I also periodically teach a sales system design workshop that walks participants through the elements of a sales system and shows how to build one and the crucial principles and skills that your sales team need to develop.

If you’d like to learn more then why not register for our next sales system workshop?

“Because to take away a man’s freedom of choice, even his freedom to make the wrong choice, is to manipulate him as though he were a puppet and not a person.”

~ Madeline L’Engle

#MeToo isn’t Good for Your Business

Any time you take a look around at ‘what everyone else is doing’ and set your compass by those standards, you are choosing a course that will set you on the fast-track to discount pricing because… you are willfully choosing to look just like everyone else. To be average.

Of course, there’s a place for conformity, too, but in business… it’s dangerous.

I don’t know if you’ve read the Divergent books (or seen the movies), but there are a lot of great business lessons in them. You see, Tris always had that sense that she didn’t quite belong and she had to deliberately choose to fit in for her own survival. Whereas others around her acted instinctively according to the accepted standards, she did so deliberately, always knowing that she had the power to make a different choice.

As a business, you may be tempted to follow that path in the mistaken belief that that is the way to success and survival. My message for you today is that if you want to thrive in a turbulent economy being a copycat is the wrong path to follow.

Unlike Tris, trying to fit in will jeopardise your chance of survival, not contribute to it.

Why You Need to Aim Higher and Ask More… Especially from Yourself

Just to straighten things out before you accuse me of trying to turn everyone into unbalanced workaholics, that is not what I’m advocating.

You see, people are not made to work under constant pressure. Just like a machine, if you constantly subject your mind and body to unreasonable stress and don’t do the required maintenance it will break down. Aiming higher and asking more of yourself includes providing breaks and adventures to open your eyes to new avenues of creativity and growth.

Actually, one of the things you need to ask of yourself is “time out” to regenerate mentally, physically, and emotionally however you most enjoy… And to fill your idea bank with alternative solutions for current problems.

Another powerful tool (especially for the overworked) is meditation and breathing. I was talking about this with someone the other day and he said, “When I feel too busy and hurried to stop, shut my eyes, and breathe deeply for at least 5 minutes, I can just about guarantee I’m going to do something I’ll regret later.”

Just like elite athletes, musicians, and other high performers, if you want to achieve outstanding results, you need an extraordinary commitment to creating the environment and energy you need to do so.

That includes choosing what NOT to do.

Unusual… Eccentric… or Unhinged?

Today, we’re surrounded by unusual personalities who have done great things in many fields. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the outstanding performers in just about every arena have been told they’re nuts… so criticism is probably a good sign!

It’s not just a modern phenomena, either… although it’s probably easier to get away with being exceptionally anything today than it was in the past. Archimedes, one of the greatest mathematicians of the ancient world, was apparently so excited when he finally solved one problem that he jumped out of the bathtub and ran around town stark naked, shouting “Eureka!” Hardly conventional behaviour!

But what about you?

How often do you just look around at what your peers are doing and ignore your own ideas because they’re ‘different’? Zig Ziglar famously said, “If I were going into a new market about which I had no knowledge, I’d look around at what everyone else was doing and do the exact opposite.” He had a point.

However, it takes confidence in yourself, your skills, and your ability to solve problems, to cut a fresh path. The easier way is to follow the ‘blueprint’ someone else has provided unquestioningly without seriously separating principles from tactics. I see a lot of people doing that and it’s one of the business aspects I address in my business development courses.

It’s even more important to develop the analytical and communication skills that enable you to stand up for your ideas, communicate them effectively to your supporters, and execute them rigorously (if not always flawlessly) and confidently.

What Does it Take to Stand Out?


There’s a reason why my sales training and business courses all include “Confident” in the title. It’s the missing ingredient in many sales presentations – whether the speaker is actually selling a product, or is selling an idea, vision, or course of action. The confidence of genuine conviction (and action) is extremely powerful and persuasive… And manufactured confidence doesn’t carry the same power.

Here’s the really exciting part, though!

“You can’t fake confidence, but you can cultivate it.”

Many business owners have a vision of what they want their solution to deliver, but they can’t communicate that vision to others. You cultivate confidence as you learn to communicate the benefits persuasively in terms that others understand… And as you practice doing so. You can also jump start confidence by harnessing the power of your mind using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques.

Are You Interested in Discovering More?

NLP Mastery Academy meets fortnightly (with a few exceptions over the holidays) to learn, review, and apply NLP techniques in your life. It’s a 12-month online group certification program that explores how these techniques can be used in relationships, personal growth, career and work settings, parenting, and much, much more. Go HERE to learn more. 

Confident Closing and Confident Conversion are our flagship programs for designing and communicating a unique business that stands out from your competitors. These fast-paced, yet thorough programs target the roots of any uncertainty you may have about your business solutions, address them, and help you design a confident and profitable business. Go HERE to learn more. 


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