If you want to succeed at any job, make yourself invaluable. Go the extra mile; make them never be able to imagine what life without you there would be like. – Ross Mathews
Selling in a crisis is tough. Losing your job during an economic downturn is worse. Now more than ever, you need your income. If you lose your job, there is a much higher probability that you will take a pay cut when you land your next one or end up in a role or company that you dislike.
No Mercy for Anchors
The good news for you and sales professionals everywhere is that most organizations and their leaders are smart. They understand that in volatile times like this, they need productive salespeople more than ever. Businesses cannot survive without a steady stream of new sales and loyal customers.
The optimum word here is productive. In a recession, everything and everyone will be examined for its value. If you drain resources rather than generating sales and profits, you are gone. There is no mercy for anchors when the ship is sinking.
The bottom line is, when your leadership team is faced with making decisions about sales force reductions, the dead wood gets cut first. Therefore you need to be indispensable to your boss and organization.
Excellence is a Choice
Mediocrity, just like excellence, is a choice. Therefore, the most effective way to protect your job is to make the decision to be excellent. Here’s how you become indispensable and advance your career in a crisis:
Get back to the basics
Be fanatical about prospecting and fill your pipeline
Change your way of thinking about work. Devote yourself to your company’s survival. Make a commitment to prove your worth to your boss, company, prospects, and customers every day. Be and become a person that your organization cannot live without.
Going the Extra Mile
Going the extra mile is powerful in a world where mediocrity is the norm and most people won’t. These things may seem small, but in today’s world the majority of your competition fails in these obvious areas:
Showing up early for meetings and being prepared
Checking spelling and grammar on your emails and written documents
Always looking, acting, and dressing like a professional
Volunteering for special projects
Coming in early and staying late
Keeping your word
Doing more than is required
Really listening to your prospects and looking for ways to solve their problems–regardless of the impact on your commission check
Taking personal responsibility to ensure that your support team follows through on their obligations
Telling the truth when you’ve made a mistake or cannot come through on a promise
Constantly looking for ways to add value and do more
A commitment to excellence in everything you do–even when no one is looking
Being persistent and relentless
Blocking your time and wading through a massive amount of rejection to find people who will buy from you
At the end of the day, when you are exhausted, frustrated, and ready to quit, willing yourself to make one more call
There are no traffic jams on the extra mile. When you are there, you will stand out and your career will flourish.