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At INDICATOR we are noticing 4 sales challenges right now and these seem to be playing out across multiple industries. These challenges are a result of the current global and domestic economy and to a degree a ‘hangover’ from the challenges NZ as a country has endured over the past 2 - 3 years.
A slowdown should not be a surprise to anyone, NZ sales leaders certainly picked it in the Mood of the Sales Leader report at the end of 2022. NZ sales leaders correctly differed, to most economic forecasts, in regard to the extent of the slowdown. Sales Leaders picked that “business will be harder but there will still be opportunity for growth”. This is 100% what we are seeing play out now. We have said this many times, if you want to know what is happening in the economy ask a sales leader, as they and their teams are at the coalface of business.
4 key challenges in 2023:

1. Buyers are risk averse

2. Your biggest competitor is ‘no decision’

3. Salespeople are struggling to adapt to the new economy & market conditions

4. Fundamental sales skills have been forgotten

What I have often felt in business is that when business is booming you feel like it is never going to stop, and the opposite occurs when things have slowed right down. Whilst individually we will not have a major impact on the economy, we can all take a much more positive outlook on the areas that we can influence and improve on.

So, my question to you is, are you upbeat and optimistic about the months ahead? Or are you currently occupying a seat in the pessimistic camp?

Based on what I am seeing in the market it seems to me that we have an even split for those that have a ‘half empty’ cup and the rest who are adopting a ‘half full’ approach. Whichever side you choose may have more of an impact on your success than you expect. There is no area of business to which this is more relevant to than sales.

There is plenty of research that highlights that having a more positive mindset can have a significant improvement in mental agility, leading to better clarity and flexibility in decision-making. Not to mention the impact a positive mindset can have on resilience and how we respond to challenges. Increased resilience enables us to bounce back more quickly from failures and supports us to take risks.

Taking risks can be as simple as picking up the phone to connect with a potential new client, and personally I have found the more risks you take (educated ones) the greater the effect you can have on the speed of your success.

I think most of us can also attest to the fact that when we are more positive, this has a healthy effect on motivation. An increase in motivation enables us to be more persistent and to put in the extra effort to achieve goals. When our motivation is down it is extremely difficult to maintain success rates and momentum. It also radiates into our customer and prospect relationships and as Brian Tracey said ‘Sales is the transfer of enthusiasm.”

We see it in sports, try winning a game or match when you are down on confidence. We see it in business, things like an upcoming election causes decisions to slow down and sales to take longer to get over the line.

Some ideas for everyone to think about:

Organisations tend to grow in the direction they focus their attention on. Where is your focus right now?

What you focus on expands, what you think about you become, what you fear you attract, what you resist persists, and what you examine disappears. I invite you to examine your current mindset and attitude because your outlook will manifest in your results (good or bad)

Newton’s Law for getting stuff done – “objects in motion tend to stay in motion”. Get started. Are you being active and on the front foot, or passive & reactive at the moment?

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”, Charles Darwin. Different market conditions require a different approach, how are you choosing to respond and adapt?

6 compelling reasons to be feeling positive & optimistic now:

1. One massive challenge in 2021 & 2022 was finding staff, so the good news is that it has become easier to find team members. It is still hard but easier.

2. Supply issues have largely been resolved and many have reported a reduction in international delivery charges.

3. If your team are not so busy reacting to client demands then they can be a lot more proactive in going after the right customers.

4. In a few months the election will be over.

5. We are through the worst of the winter, hopefully!

6. If you are good at what you do you are going to absolutely thrive in the current market conditions.

Last comment, it is not doom and gloom. Let’s spread that message.

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