You Are NOT Alone Out There!
I’ve had an ever-increasing number of conversations in the last month about how things are “out there” for all of you who sell in this industry. And I understand that for many of you, it is not pretty. The prospects are non responsive and tough to shake out of their old buying habits.
If your company has sales management, it is more common that you are being negatively reinforced, and it has been a long time since anyone within your company offered you any constructive ideas for how to grow your business. Differentiating yourself from your competition is getting harder and harder. In short, it SUCKS out there.
So here is where the “kumbaya” moment (as Bill Farquharson would call it) comes in. You are not alone.
It is important that you know that you are not the only one out there feeling what you are feeling and experiencing what you are experiencing. Hell, that is the premise upon which support groups (and later social media) were founded. We need to know that there are others out there just like us. So know it.
Sales managers are not getting the job done. All they ask is, “Where is your business? What the hell do you DO all day?” And when you ask them for help, you get the blank stare or the “Just go out and SELL something!” answer. Not helpful!
Owners are not sympathetic. They have their own problems—like meeting payroll and keeping the lights on. And they may have never sold your products and services, so they have nothing constructive to offer.
Your co-workers are too busy trying to keep their jobs to help you. It can often be “every man for himself” out there. So, you are pretty much screwed.
There are some things you can do to mitigate what is happening to you. Here are just a few of them:
• PARTICIPATE IN GROUPS ON LINKEDIN.—There are many sales-related and print-related groups with great discussions going on. Get on them and spend some time contributing to others’ questions, and ask a few of your own.
• CONSIDER HIRING A COACH.—TRY to get your boss to pay for it, but if he won’t, consider it an investment in your future. Paul Castain, a print coach and blogger wrote a great article on selecting a coach. http://tinyurl.com/3qhzwxu
• EDUCATE YOURSELF.—Read books, read blogs, take a class, join forums, but get yourself some education. Just DO IT!
You are NOT alone, but it is not enough to just wallow in it and wait for something to happen to change your situation. You have to be the master of your destiny and make it happen. So take heart; it can get better, if you are willing to take some steps to MAKE it better. So step lively!
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.