How to Sell When Times Get Tough

Selling is not for the faint of heart. But often times negative feelings breed negative outcomes. Learn how to change your mindset and give yourself a little edge over the competition.

Many people I talk to are saying in frustration, “I’m not having fun selling anymore!” or, “It’s really tough out there!”

It is all a matter of perspective. Sure, it can be “tough” and not as much “fun.” You know the old saying:  “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!” and it would probably be worse because you would have even more competition and receive more stalls, objections, put-offs and excuses.

If you believe it is tough, it will be tough. Napoleon Hill said, “That which your mind can believe, it can achieve.”

If what you believe is negative, what do you achieve? Right! The negative!

I suggest that we look at our paradigms. A paradigm is an accepted model of the way things are, or a belief, or a perception about something. Change your paradigm. Change the way you think about it.  When you change the way you think about something, you change your behavior and, in turn, change the result or outcome.

Let’s look at some past paradigms that have changed. Many of us, when we were kids, would hear: “We can no more do that than fly to the moon!” We’ve changed that! Some of us are still waiting for something wonderful to happen to us. Some people don’t realize that it is up to them to make things happen.

So let’s revisit the “Tough Times” paradigm and change it. If it is “tough” out there, that could be positive. That means your competitors are faced with the same potential obstacles you may be facing.

What does that mean? All that means is that you need an “edge.” You just need to be a little bit better.

We don’t get better by:

  • Complaining about it;
  • Feeling sorry for ourselves; or
  • Sitting down after a tough day and watching TV and having a few drinks

We get our “edge” by:

  • honing our skills;
  • learning from every situation we are in by debriefing ourselves;
  • practicing;
  • thinking;
  • dreaming;
  • visualization;
  • goal setting;
  • planning;
  • developing new tools;
  • learning;
  • implementing;
  • challenging ourselves;
  • going beyond the norm;
  • risking;
  • education; and
  • asking ourselves: Where can I be better and how do I get better?

Sure, it is hard work, but the reward! Ah, the reward!

You all know successful people and you may be one of them. They didn’t get where they are by accident.  They got there by working at it one step at a time and continue to do so.

That starts with understanding yourself.

Tom Scully is sales consultant and owner of a Sandler Training franchise in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

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  • Next up: Selling Tech in a Volatile Economy

    Selling Tech in a Volatile Economy

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    Signs are appearing that the economy is improving, but it remains on shaky ground.  Our panelists, from Warwick Communications and Hileman Enterprises, both veterans of multiple business cycles, share their take on selling tech in the current economy.

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  • Next up: Selling to Fortune 500s featuring Vertex Computer Systems

    Selling to Fortune 500s featuring Vertex Computer Systems

    NEOSA recently spent time with Ganesh Iyer, President of Vertex Computer Systems, to discuss the company's successful apporaches to landing large clients and keeping them as customers. Vertex provides a variety of IT services, predominately in the custom development space; prominent clients include P&G, Sherwin-Williams and others.

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    Listen here.


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  • Next up: Senate Bill 220 Data Protection Act Written Testimony

    Senate Bill 220 Data Protection Act Written Testimony

    Senate Bill 220:  Data Protection Act Written Testimony by Timothy M. Opsitnick

    Technology Concepts & Design, Inc. (TCDI) June 27, 2018

    Chairman Blessing and members of the Ohio House Government Oversight & Accountability Committee, my name is Tim Opsitnick.  I am the Executive Vice President & General Counsel at Technology Concepts & Design, Inc. (TCDI), a company that provides cybersecurity, data privacy, computer forensics, electronic discovery and litigation management services.  My practice focuses on the investigation of data incidents and cybersecurity services.  I founded a company almost twenty years ago that was recently acquired by TCDI.  For thirty years, TCDI has been a leader in the marketplace, providing value to our clients through proprietary eDiscovery and litigation management software.  To that end, the collection of litigation related data has encouraged TCDI to be a leader in the protection of its client data.  I am proudly based in Cleveland, Ohio and I also serve on the Attorney General’s CyberOhio Advisory Board, a group composed of state industry experts and business leaders aimed at helping Ohio’s businesses fight back against cyber-attacks. 

    Thank you for the opportunity to provide written testimony in favor of Senate Bill 220 (SB 220) on behalf of members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and its small business division, the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE).  Our organization is the largest Chamber of Commerce in the country and represents the most comprehensive small, middle market, and large business organizations in the state with more than 10,000 business members in Northeast Ohio. 

    GCP member companies have increasingly identified cybersecurity as an emerging issue and significant challenge.  Over the course of the last several months, we have had encouraging dialogue, resulting in the introduction of this legislation and ultimately the organization’s support for SB 220. 

    We strongly support providing a legal safe harbor opportunity for covered entities that implement a specified cybersecurity program because the legislation provides an incentive to encourage businesses to achieve a higher level of cybersecurity through voluntary action.  The purpose of SB 220 is to create an affirmative defense to a cause of action sounding in tort related to a data breach and it would apply to all businesses that include and comply with certain cybersecurity frameworks.  The bill, also known as the Data Protection Act, is not a mandate and it would not create a minimum cybersecurity standard. 

    As you know, the use of technology to conduct business efficiently in the marketplace is practically unavoidable.  Unfortunately, the technology we use daily is vulnerable and can be hacked.  Accordingly, the consequences can have a rippling effect and can be devastating for a business of any size, in any industry – particularly for small businesses.  SB 220 is a sound initiative that encourages more businesses to properly protect their business ventures, their workforce, and those with whom they do business.

    GCP will continue to proactively engage our members and the legislature on this constantly changing threat to help foster a stronger business environment in the region and beyond.  Swift passage of this common-sense legislation is a worthy goal and we look forward to playing a role in the process by educating stakeholders on the importance of this initiative. 

    Thank you for the opportunity to provide the perspective of our membership.


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  • Next up: Senator Gayle Manning Tours Alumalloy Metalcasting Co.

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    Have you ever wondered how much time and precision goes into the production of the many parts of a cool sports car? Think Corvettes, or other neat sports cars. Ohio Senator Gayle Manning had an opportunity to learn more about it in touring Avon Lake family-owned small business Alumalloy Metalcasting Co. Owned by Dennis Daniels, Alumalloy Metalcasting covers approximately 110,000 square feet of property off of Walker Road, with its newest 55,000 sq ft addition in the process of being completed.

    Have you ever wondered how much time and precision goes into the production of the many parts of a cool sports car? Think Corvettes, or other neat sports cars. Ohio Senator Gayle Manning had an opportunity to learn more about it in touring Avon Lake family-owned small business Alumalloy Metalcasting Co. Owned by Dennis Daniels, Alumalloy Metalcasting covers approximately 110,000 square feet of property off of Walker Road, with its newest 55,000 sq ft addition in the process of being completed.

    Alumalloy Metalcastings is a private company founded in the late 70s. Since its founding, Dennis’s company has been known for successfully producing casting parts and providing top quality services using the finest and highest quality precision making equipment. Their customers have given them the reputation for creating complex engine designs, difficult thick-wall / thin wall configurations, and large structural castings. They have an in-house x-ray machine that has the ability to detect the smallest of flaws in any piece of equipment!

    With just shy of 100 employees to manage, Dennis shared with Sen. Manning that one of their common issues is in the workforce development space.

    “Most employees don’t last more than a few days or couple weeks. They get hired, come in for a few weeks and then they just stop showing up.”

    Dennis said he has been fortunate and has never had issues finding new men and women to replace these positions, however, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem. Alumalloy Metalcasting employs many who come by bus to work in Avon Lake on a daily basis. On Saturdays, when the bus lines don’t run as frequent, Dennis and his team invested in a van that will pick up most of them from the Lakewood area so they are able to come to work.

    COSE asked Dennis if Alumalloy Metalcasting utilizes interns. Dennis said he hasn’t, but would definitely use them if he was connected to a College that has students who were interested in the special trades needed to work at Alumalloy Metalcasting. Senator Manning, who is the current Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Workforce and Economic Development Committee, mentioned her familiarity with businesses not knowing where to begin when looking for interns. 

    COSE welcomes the opportunity and looks forward to working with small businesses like Alumalloy Metalcasting, Senator Manning, and local colleges to bridge the gap between educators, small businesses, and students.


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