Panic mode. That is the current situation in many industries and companies. It may even be a new component of your company's current operating philosophy. It might possibly describe your mental state when you arose this morning. Regardless, if President-Elect Obama is indeed correct, and the economy may get worse before it gets better, entering panic mode now may prove to be somewhat self-destructive.
Panic is not a healthy emotion. Panic mode is a negative, pessimistic and destructive state of mind. No good decisions or policies can arise from it. Instead, one must pause, step back in a more relaxed manner and re-evaluate both the big-picture and immediate snapshot. Gathering all pertinent information in a rational manner is of primary importance and is the constructive thing to do. Furthermore, there are also healthy questions that one can ask of one's self:
1. Objectively, what is the current situational environment?
2. What is the maximum negative impact on me?
3. What steps can I take to minimize damages?
4. What good can be found at this time? What am I optimistic about?
5. What steps can I implement right now to improve my situation?
At the very least, pausing long enough to evaluate each of the above questions allows one enough breathing room to slow panic impulses and remove negative subjective feelings from the economic equation. Remember, "this too shall pass." Regardless of the duration of our current circumstances, time will ultimately shift these very circumstances.
Salespeople must divest themselves of panic. I realize that this is often far easier said than done. This particular emotion however, quickly translates into desperation. Such strong negativity is easily "felt" by others and will only serve to further frustrate our sales efforts. Buyers generally do not buy unless they feel good about their purchases as well as the others involved in the transaction.
This is a time where salespeople need to substantially increase their empathy, taking on an even-greater consultative role, becoming more of a coach for their customers. Our "calm" and reassuring level of support will ease their mind regarding their purchasing decision. Yes, this strategy may lengthen the sales cycle, but it ultimately will allow the sale to occur. The buyer will be far more comfortable coming back to such a salesperson for satisfying their future needs and be more likely to recommend them to others. Such customer loyalty is priceless.
Get coached yourself! Find a sales mentor who understands this philosophy or read articles and books that will assist you in this endeavor. Learn these new skills. This investment in yourself will pay you back immediately. Learn how to become a better sales consultant and coach your way through this recession.