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Posted: August 24, 2009

Maintaining positive momentum

Especially when growing your business

Michael Norton

Are the economic conditions impacting our businesses, driving each decision we make, or are we still in control of our operational tempo and culture of the organizations we have worked so hard to build?

In challenging economic times many companies go into survival mode. Financially this makes sense in some situations where it is prudent to realign the organization in order to survive.  However, it is extremely important to balance our fears and survival mode mentality with a strong growth oriented positive attitude.

Most employees over the past year or so have further developed their sixth sense and intuitive skills, and can feel or sense gloom and doom in an organization.  They may choose to hang around because employment options are few, but their productivity will wane due to a lack of energy and enthusiasm demonstrated by the leadership of the organization. While that’s the bad news, the good news is that top performing businesses are recognizing that they are in control and can create a positive, winning culture that thrives in any economy.

Growth-oriented companies may have suffered the pain associated with downsizing and reorganization, but they have not thrown in the towel. They walk through building and job sites with a smile and a posture of positivity, both of which are extremely contagious. Additionally, they have focused on providing the sales and business development teams with the resources and tools necessary to meet with success now.

“Timid sales people have skinny children.” --Zig Ziglar
A best practice is to make sure your sales team has the confidence necessary to represent your company and drive the business forward.  The three C’s of a successful sales team are: Confidence, Confidence and Confidence.

If they have confidence in themselves, confidence in the products they sell or represent, and confidence in their company and leadership, salespeople can go toe-to-toe with any prospect or competitor and usually come out on the winning end.
 
Initiate campaigns internally around gathering referrals, calling and prospecting. There are many terrific sales trainers that are available and will come to your office to help fill your funnel with new opportunities.

One such trainer with a proven track record of success is Andrea Sittig-Rolf, the BlitzMaster.  Her program is designed to create new and immediate opportunities for the sales team.  I have seen firsthand how this can energize the entire company. Customers are making buying decisions, why not have them buy from you?

Leadership must lead in good times and challenging times. Maintaining a positive momentum in the sales team is just part of a top performing growth-oriented company. But leadership also needs to focus on all other departments as well. Team-building events are a powerful tool and can be as big or as small as your time and budget will allow. The important thing is to be consistent in hosting these events for all teams and making a personal commitment to ensure they happen.
 
And lastly, follow Tom Peters’ advice: “Management by wandering around.”  Be visible, be a part of your company’s drive, spirit, culture and momentum.  Don’t wait for the turn in the economy; become the change you want to see in your industry.

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Michael Norton is vice president of sales and business development for ToolWatch, which provides tool and equipment management systems that track and manage resources throughout an entire construction organization. Tool Watch’s enterprise-wide and software-as-a-service (SaaS) packages offers real-time tracking and management information using the most current and reliable technology. For more information, visit www.toolwatch.com or call 1-800-676-4034. 

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