Chamber Blog

Ruth Ann Hanson, Chamber Area Director
Ruth Ann Hanson
Lisa Paxton, Chamber CEO
Lisa Paxton
Kathi Nagorski
Kathi Nagorski
Shannon Janco
Shannon Janco

Selling in a Tough Economy - Focus on Your Future

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Early in my selling career, I was taught the old sales saw “ABC” (Always Be Closing) and that you had to ask for the sale repeatedly and go through several “no’s” before you heard the magic word, “Yes.” Selling in today’s economy requires a more sophisticated approach and a willingness to adapt quickly or be prepared to hear several “no’s”.

As I visit with salespeople throughout central and northern Minnesota, selling topics of interest come up, regardless of the economy. The first one goes something like this: What is the best response when the customer says "we like you, we like your company, and we think your products are good ... but ..."

I think many salespeople rely on their relationships to make sales. Our founder, Dale Carnegie, wrote the book “How To Win Friends and Influence People” so I’m not against relationships, but in today's competitive, global marketplace relationships are not enough to hit sales targets. When our existing customers are uncertain about the economy, fear causes them to avoid making buying decisions of any kind. We must be prepared to address these fears throughout our sales process.

Rick Cole
Dale Carnegie Training®
www.minnesota.dalecarnegie.com

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Access to Business Capital - Focus on Your Future

Planning for the start up or expansion of a business is critical to survival. Thinking ahead and researching all the possible alternatives and options will flush out any possible problems that would impede success of the business endeavor. It is crucial to understand your product and market, the management team, and how your cash flow affects the business from day to day. By working with your banker and others you can enhance your ability to access business capital.

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located at Central Lakes College and the Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corporation (BLADC) offer an array of services to assist entrepreneurs and businesses with their start up or expansion projects. The SBDC and BLADC also help determine which economic development lending programs may fit a project’s financing needs.

Elissa Rogers
Economic Development Specialist, Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corporation

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