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When I first moved to Auckland some years ago, I started playing tennis against a friend and we played a lot. Whilst I would consider myself an ok player, he was better, and he used to win every time.  Playing so often however, I got better and better until I was almost on an even level with him.

True story, but it took me 4 years and approximately 200 games to beat him. Why did it take that long? Because every time I got close, I would revert to a defensive mode that would cost me the game. It wasn’t until I was willing to risk it all and truly go after my shots that I won the crucial points to take out the game. 

The reason I have been thinking about this again recently, is that I am seeing too many companies going into defensive mode right now due to the economy and the looming election and I completely disagree with this approach. If we aren’t careful, our cautiousness in business can become a self-fulfilling prophecy and we get the results that we expect to see. 

I heard this quote recently “If you want the magic back then take a risk?” I believe companies could do with hearing this right now. I believe companies are being way too prudent at the moment which is causing a collective slowdown. 

“Let’s get to the end of the quarter before we decide what to do” 

“Let’s wait until after the election” 

“Let’s wait until the new year and see how things are” 

It is these types of attitudes that sales teams need to proactively change by providing the evidence and emotion in their sales process to counteract this. We need to be better at providing clear reasons to work with us supported by an understanding of ROI. 

How has 2023 been for you so far? 

Our prediction for this year has always been that business will be harder but not completely off the cliff. Has it played out that way? Our answer is yes until now. 

You won’t be hearing any ‘doom and gloom’ from us, but what we will say is that decision makers and buyers are taking longer to get to a point of commitment as confidence is faltering and with a looming election. It is fair to say that our sales teams have some considerable work to do. 

We saw a huge amount of momentum at the start of the year, but we did have some serious road bumps to get through. Some significant weather events experienced in Auckland, Northland and the East Coast of the North Island caused massive havoc for residents and businesses. If you live in the North Island, then your lack of vitamin D caused by the crappiest summer ever was followed by a wet winter, making us all a little bit miserable. 

It is our belief that the next 3 months are the most important for 2023 (Sept – Nov). Not only are they often the 3 biggest earners for many companies,  but they are also followed by the two worst earners for many outside of the hospitality industry (Dec – Jan). The hospitality and other sectors should take a close interest however, as the success of businesses in the next few months will also have a flow on effect as to the willingness of people to spend in the months ahead. 

As a side note, the election being held in October is not ideal. I get it, a government is unlikely to want to hold an election in the middle of winter, but as most will tell you an election has a significant impact on productivity which creates more of a problem for a country already struggling with  productivity issues.

Our suggestion is that the next few months are critical to success, and for those of us in sales we have an extremely important role in helping to set this success up. This means all opportunities should be treated like gold and there is no time to be a reactive salesperson.  Now is the time to be proactive to generate sales and revenue for our businesses. We had the great Mike Weinberg join our Expert Series event recently,  and he shared a great line – “In slower times you need to get your fair share, but you also need to get your unfair share". 

This is particularly important now as we are seeing decisions being deferred, but the problem with defence is that you are almost giving up. Take more risks (ok not crazy ones) and see the magic return.

 6 key areas of focus for getting more than your fair share in a down economy

  • Don’t sit back and wait for sales to come to you, get busy, get proactive
  • Be very clear on the best companies for you to work with and the ones that you don’t 
  • Emotion is critical for sales right now – uncover what emotions are critical to your customers 
    and talk to those emotions 
  • To make decisions companies will need to send clear ROI’s that make it foolish for them not 
    to purchase 
  • If you are a salesperson set yourself your own goals, sales leaders need to set very clear 
    expectations and focus on the leading indicators of your sales team 
  • Learn from every single encounter and remember there is no such thing as perfection in 
Bring on the magic!


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