[00:00:00] Luigi Prestinenzi: By the Sales IQ Network, this is the Sales IQ Podcast. I'm your host, Luigi Prestinenzi, and each week we'll be going on a journey that will inspire you, motivate you, and help you be the best sales professional you can be. Our focus will be on mindset, tactics, and the strategies that will enable you to create more pipeline, and win more deals.
Welcome to another episode of the sales IQ podcast. I'm delighted to have you join us for what will be another incredible episode if you're a long time listener. Thank you. I really appreciate you joining us each and every week because I create this content to help sellers be the very best they can be.
And if you're joining us for the first time, welcome, we'd love to hear what brought you to our podcast. Connect with me on LinkedIn. Tell me what you think at the end of this episode. If you like it, say, Hey, I loved it. If you don't like it, say Luigi. Thanks. But no, thanks. It's not for me.
But I'm really excited too, about this particular episode, because during our last episode, we spoke to Jamal and it was an episode which was talking about how to land big deals. Right. And I did touch upon the fact that I will be sharing this week some strategies that you can implement to help you thrive during moments of adversity.
Now, if you like me and you're on LinkedIn, you're probably seeing all the posts that are talking about the economic down. Now I don't watch the news apart from the business news, but it's even creeping into the business news.
Right. There is a lot of talk about inflation. You know, prices going up where I shop my local, you know, supermarket cost me frigging $11 to buy an iceberg lettuce. Think about it, $11, right? Fuel costs are going up. There is just a whole range of things that are impacting the economy.
A lot of sales people have been, let go. There's been a lot of industries that are struggling with this economic downturn. Okay. And that's having a bit of a flow effect. It's having a domino effect and this issue can create a lot of uncertainty for many people. And especially if you're in sales, you know, when there is an economic downturn that could mean less sales, it could mean it's gonna be harder and more difficult for you.
And that's why I wanna touch on this episode. That's what I wanna talk about because we have absolutely no control over the external environment, we cannot control the way the economy behaves. So this episode is all about really giving consideration to the things that you can control. And I'm gonna go through a number of strategies that you can implement immediately to turn a negative into a positive.
So I'm really excited to jump into this topic this week. It's a solo topic. It's me on my own. I hope that's okay. I haven't got a guest, but to give you some confidence, you know, I have sold through some economic downturns. I have sold through some pretty tough economic environments, and I'm proud to say that those times they did affect me, but they didn't affect my overall performance. I still achieved the outcomes that I was looking to achieve.
And I bring it back to the very first strategy that I'm gonna share. Right. So let me start this week's episode. Let me get into it. Let me talk about the strategies that again, that you can use, that you can execute to thrive during moments of adversity.
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[00:04:13] Luigi Prestinenzi: Now the very first thing, the very first strategy we need to start to focus on is spending time on your mindset. Now you might be going lo mate, this is not, you know, you're not telling me something, I don't know. But again, this is the reality. We need to be spending time on developing the right mindset, but this is not something that we can go. I'm gonna do this once, tick the box and I'm done, right. We need to be focusing on this. Every single.
And the very first strategy is about controlling the controllables. And this comes from your mindset. Right? So think about like, I want you to think about mindset, like putting credits in the bank. You need to add a certain amount of credits so that when things don't go to plan. Or you might start to feel the impact of the negative environment kicking in. You will have enough positive credits.
You've put enough credits to draw from, and you keep adding positive credits every single day. You kind of build it up right. And I remember, I remember when I was running for training for my first marathon.
And there was a lot of things I didn't know, but I was very consistent. I was training pretty much five days a week. I was absolutely consistent. I remember coming to a point halfway through the program. I was a bit tight. I needed to have a day off and I didn't feel, I thought, you know what? I can't have a day off because it's gonna impact the overall performance.
And one of my running colleagues said to me, mate, you've, you've done eight weeks of training. You've got credits in the bank. Don't stress. It's there. You've been building, you've been working hard. You can miss a day and it's not going to impact you.
I want you to have that thought in the back of your head. How many credits am I putting in the bank when it comes to mindset? Now, when we think about every day, what, what that looks like for, for you is different. To me, it's different for everyone, right? You've gotta find your own routine. You, if you wanna get up early in the morning and do things that create positive energy for you.
Great. If you're an early morning riser. Fantastic. If you're a late morning riser, it's a, okay. We've had a guest on the show. Brandon, who is not the 4:00 AM riser. But he was able to make a million dollars in commission. He just structured his day differently, but he absolutely had a routine. Now for me, exercise is a key part of my morning routine, right?
Because it gives me that instant dopamine. I feel really good for others. It might be reading a book. You might be listening to a podcast, whatever works. You've gotta find a routine that works for you. Now, the outcome should be that you are working on your mindset daily, allowing you to show up each day with that positive energy.
And as Brian Tracy says, sales is a transference of enthusiasm and you want that enthusiasm, you want that positive energy oozing out of you, right? You want to be able to bring the best version of yourself. Every single day. And again, as I said, if, if you're not a morning person, it's okay. Just find some form of routine.
As I said, I like to do training in the morning. I like to have some form of physical activity. If I'm going for a run, I also will listen to a podcast. I'll listen to the Marketing Millennials, The Nudge, I've got a whole bunch of podcasts. I try to listen to, and I try to listen to a podcast every single day, because it gets me thinking a little. It gets me kind of creative. It gets me thinking about some ideas on maybe if I'm prospecting and I haven't got, you know, the right response from some prospects. Maybe I can bring some creative ideas from other people that are doing just what I'm doing in the, in the field. Right.
So I want you to think about your, your routine. I want you to think about your daily rhythm and I want you to develop the non-negotiables. That'll help you form the right mindset to show up every day, feeling the best you possibly can, right. And washing the negative away.
Now, the second strategy. To help you thrive during moments of adversity is to go back and look at your account profile, or as some call it your ideal customer profile.
Now, this is an important step because when there is change in an operating environment. So at the moment the economic operating environment is changing and it impacts certain industries differently. We need to, as sales professionals, we need to go back. And take our ICP out and really have a look at it and assess how is this economic environment impacting our customers?
How is it not just impacting them, but what might this do for their products and services and how is the changing in environment, the operating environment, impacting their needs. It's also a great opportunity to look and evaluate other customer profiles that historically you might not have been selling to, right?
That might not have been a perfect fit because that change in operating model or that change in operating environment for that business, it could mean that they become a fit for you. So it's really important to go back to your ICP, have a look at some of the things that are happening in their world so that you could make sure you alter potentially your lists.
You might be, you know, segmenting it further because it could be a segment of your market that are just in crisis mode that will, that there is no fit. Now, all that it could be that, you know, people that you've been selling to maybe that change in operating environment means that they are completely the wrong fit now.
So the more we understand about our customers and their industries, the easier it is for us to develop a strong point of view to engage 'em and, and this is why going back to the ICP, having a look at changing environment, looking at maybe roles they're they're removing, or they're adding will allow you to change your point of view.
Now the third strategy, right? We're starting to get into the heart of this process. The third strategy is around your persona. I can probably see some of your eyes rolling in the back of your head going Luigi, man, we've already built our persona. We've done this to death. Why do we have to do our persona again?
Now if you've done it fantastic. But as you've heard me say this before, or if you're a first time listener, you're hearing this for the first time, your persona should never become a static document. Your persona is something that you work on all the time. As you learn more about them you make those adjustments, right?
And like your ICP, when change occurs, when change occurs in an industry, when change occurs with the way they operate in the market, the persona's focus will also change and we need to consider the world. Our persona is operating in how the change in environment is impacting them, what impact it could have on their KPIs. What could it. On the way that their strategy might be redesigned in the next 12 months.
So again, market changes will change their focus. And if we're not proactive in really thinking about how the persona is thinking and what changes are impacting the persona, then the message that we might have been reaching out to engage with them previously and working.
It might not work anymore because their immediate priorities what's relevant to them. Has changed. And if we don't change with it, if we don't evolve our message, then we're not gonna be able to connect with them. Right. I also want you to think and think about this from your own perspective. Change can create an uneasy feeling, not just for us, but for our prospects and our buyers.
And if we don't understand how that change is impacting them, then we're not gonna be able to create any value for them. Yeah, because they too are going through issues. They too are experiencing just like we are experiencing the economic downturn. They might not have all the answers. If they've never worked through a major economic downturn.
Right. Then how do they know the playbook? How do they know the blueprint to work through it? So again, This is where you need to start to really educate and go on the front foot when it comes to your prospects.
And this is something that I had a recent conversation with one of the top sellers from Microsoft, globally, Carson Heady. And we spoke about that, this exact topic, right? And if you wanna know more about this particular topic, you can jump into our Sales IQ Community, the links in the show notes, and you can go back and watch that recording that I had with Carson cause was a live community record.
And he stated that during the pandemic he was selling into the healthcare sector, he doubled down on the amount of education. He started providing his clients and prospects about topics he felt was relevant for them. He went on the front foot, he was proactive. He went out there, found content and he served that content up to them with a sole focus of just creating value, creating value, and creating value.
As a result, he actually accelerate his performance. His performance was incredible. You know, he landed a hundred million dollar deal as a result of it. So this was a result of him saying, right, the industry I'm talking to is in some form of crisis, they're struggling. I need to get out there. I need to be that source of value. And I need to be making sure that I'm helping and serving them more than usual because they are going through some pain.
Because the last thing we want to be seen as if there's tough economy, if there's tough market conditions, we don't wanna be seen as that hungry. Commission hungry sales person with that commission breath. Again, this is where we need to take a step back and really put our persona at the center of everything we do.
And so right. I can, I can sense that things are tough for you right now. I can sense that things might be difficult for you right now. And I'm just going to be, become a source of, of education. I'm gonna become a source of value. And over time, what will happen is we will build a strong level of trust. We'll come across as somebody that's become a trusted advisor for the, for our prospects. And we will get a positive return on that investment. Right?
So this is not an overnight, I'm not, I'm not telling you, I don't want you sort of listen to this and go these, these are not strategies that can give me overnight success because as we know in sales, there is nothing. There is no overnight success. Everything that we do takes time. And, you know, again, we, we should be building a robust pipeline and this moves into the next strategy to help you really thrive during moments of adversity.
And that's your pipeline expectations, right? When a recession occurs, we absolutely see a decline in growth. Companies will make less profit spending will be reduced. This means some of the projects that you might be trying to deliver into clients will hit a barrier. Okay. As companies will take potentially a conservative view to spending on items, not deemed absolutely necessary. Right. So discretionary spending will, you know, be reduced.
What does this mean for you? That there may be more deal slippage occur in your pipeline. The normal sales cycles might blow out. They might take longer than normal to get to a decision if they still pursue the opportunity your overall conversions might drop. So if you usually have three times pipeline coverage, then you might wanna consider increasing this to four times.
Okay. So what this means for you is you will need to increase the volume of opportunities you actually bring into your pipeline. And that means the amount of activity that you need to work. To create your pipeline needs to increase, right? And this is why knowing your pipeline metrics now is vital. It's absolutely vital because you need to recalibrate your performance metrics.
You need to be recalibrate where you need to spend your time. To ensure you are building a robust pipeline. So again, don't go into it with a hope strategy. Don't say, look, I hope everything's gonna be okay. I will just go on the way I've been going on. And hopefully nothing happens in a negative because hope is not a strategy.
Okay. That is, that is the worst strategy to bring into place because it's not a strategy. We need to be proactive. We need to be proactive. Looking at our metrics. Yes. Being optimistic is very important, but we also have to be realistic and know that the market will shrink. The opportunities potentially will become, you know, harder to bring in. So we've gotta increase that volume if we wanna maintain or exceed our target.
Now let's move into the next strategy, which is prospecting. Right. Now, I know you are rolling your eyes. You're going far out, Luigi we thought you were gonna share some, the silver bullet. We thought you were gonna give us some tactics that we don't know already.
Now the reality is for many of us is that we all know what needs to be done, right? I'm not telling you stuff today. That's new to you. I'm not telling I'm not giving any sort of. Completely new strategies that you're not already executing, but just because we know what needs to be done, we don't always get it done.
I'll give you an example. I like to keep fit. I like to train either in the mornings most of the time in the mornings or sometimes at night, but I've actually fell into some bad habits myself over the past couple of months. And I'm not gonna blame COVID because you know what COVID is absolutely not. The reason I've, I've led a very healthy lifestyle for many, many years, but for the some reason.
I fell into some bad habits and the bad habits were my eating. Okay. Still training, but eating, eating, actually not eating enough during the day. and eating too many snacks late at night, who doesn't like a snack, right? Who doesn't like some nuts or some chocolate, whatever, whatever is your kind of go-to snack.
Well, I fucking love snacks. Right. And I was also drinking a few too many beers as well on the weekend. Yeah. I fell into some bad habits. And even though I was training, I was finding that the bad habits of being eating late at night. Or, you know, drinking a bit of alcohol on the weekend was actually impacting my performance when I was training.
And as a result, I also put in a few kgs. Yeah. So I knew this when I had to put my suit on for the very first time, since COVID I'm like that, to suck it up, suck it up. I'm like, holy crap, Lui, you gotta get back out there and you gotta get back into your normal routine. I knew it. I kept telling myself. It just wasn't getting done.
So to break the habit, I put myself into a program at my local gym, I've got myself a coach and I've successfully broken that habit. I'm I'm about halfway through the program. I have not faulted once, because I know that I have an accountability buddy. That's gonna help me. And I've already dropped a couple of kgs. I'm feeling really focused. Again, I'm actually feeling fitter. I've got more energy. So the outcome for me has been amazing.
So when it comes to prospecting, yes, we know that it needs to happen, but if we do not time block and. Make a commitment to yourself. If we don't make this commitment that, Hey, it's not just about knowing to prospect, I'm gonna make this commitment.
If I've struggled with the habit of, you know, fulfilling that time that I've set myself, I'm gonna get myself an accountability, buddy. The best athletes in the world have an accountability, buddy, why should we not have accountability buddies for certain things that we know will make a material difference in our.
Right. So time block, don't break the commitment you're making to yourself. Look at your pipeline metrics. You might need to increase the amount of opportunities to create for yourself. So know your metrics, make prospecting an absolute non-negotiable. This will be the single most important task that could see you Excel and thrive during a downturn or crash and burn.
And remember, most of the stress in sales is caused from a lack of. When we don't have enough ops to work on, we can come across desperate to our prospects. Yeah. We rush opportunities to a point of decision because we know we need to close because we haven't got enough opportunities to close. And when we rush the opportunity, we don't take the required time to engage with the wider biting buying committee, which creates deal risk. That's why. Prospecting is absolutely critical all the time, but even more so during an economic downturn, now we're getting into the final strategy.
Now the final strategy, the final strategy that I believe will absolutely help you Excel during moments of adversity is belief. Okay. Believe in yourself.
You have the knowledge and the capability to make magic happen? Yes. External environments can make it difficult for us, right. But don't let the environment dictate your success. You know, greatness comes from those moments of adversity. Great things happen when things don't go to plan own the opportunity in front of you own the opportunity that will come from a downturn own the learning and the growth.
Right because your competitors and other sellers are also going through the same challenges. Some will rise and some will fall. The true sales professionals will show up during moments of adversity and Excel. Okay. And those who reframe and make a decision to grow and thrive during this time will come out better for it.
Now, these strategies I've shared with you. May seem basic. They may seem obvious. You might be saying, mate, you have not shared one strategy that is new to me, but sometimes the most basic strategies are the best strategies. Now we know what it takes to be successful in sales, don't try and recreate a simple process.
Go back to the basics, master the fundamentals, and you'll not only thrive. But develop another level of capability. Now, if this is an episode that's triggered some thought for you and you think others might need to hear this, especially if they are experiencing some form of challenge with the downturn, please go.
And like the episode rate it. Share it with your colleagues. I want all sales professionals to thrive during the economic downturn. We all have families. We all have emotions. We are all being impacted by the increasing cost of living. And if we are not then performing in our role. I know what it feels like when you go home asking some tough questions and questioning yourself, right?
So if you know people that need to hear this, please get this content. I create this content because I love the profession of selling. I love what selling represents. I empathize with all of you because I'm there with you. I'm out there in the front line doing this. I've done it my whole career. And I want to inspire as many people to take action so that they can be the very best they can be.
[00:21:07] Credits: This show has been recorded remotely produced by Sales IQ Global, audio editing and music production by Stefan Malliate. Show notes by Victoria Mathieson and graphic design by Julie Marshall. Don't forget to leave a rating and review on your podcast player. And if you want to find more about the programs that we offer at Sales IQ, head to www.salesiqglobal.com.
This episode was digitally transcribed.