Recessions cause the economy to contract and make it difficult for people to do business. What we are experiencing right now causes people to respond in a similar way, reacting to the economic contraction with more contraction. While it may be a normal reaction to contract at this point, it just guarantees that it will be smaller when this is all over.

Here are the biggest mistakes people and companies can make right now: 1) People focus on the problem, not the solution. You don’t want to avoid problems, you want to identify and solve them. The problems are the opportunities.

2) Respond with contraction by hiring. It will only get smaller because of your actions, not because of the economy. Now is the time to expand in amounts commensurate with how much your industry has shrunk.

3) Underestimating the level of activity required. The amount of effort that is required now is and will be much greater to get things done, so prepare and empower your organization to take more action and be more persistent.

4) Lower prices. Lowering your price right now is wrong. Do the math; less volume at a lower price is suicide. Now is the time to train your people on how to create value and not drive down the price.

5) Rely on the old strategies to handle the new environment. The old strategies will not work in this new economy. It will be “unusual in business” for some time.

6) Agree with the masses. Watch what the masses of people are saying and doing and then do the opposite. The masses almost always do the “wrong” thing.

7) Overqualify customers. Treat every opportunity like a buyer right now. Since money and credit are harder to come by and sellers tend to overqualify their clients’ ability to do business.

8) Surround yourself with other people who are focused on the problems. The media runs rampant with bad news all the time, but especially at this time and then friends, family, and associates spread bad news like the flu.

9) Be reasonable: This is not a time to be reasonable, but rather unreasonable, to operate without logic regarding every action you take. If you try to make sense of things now, you won’t even want to show up for work. Let your competition be reasonable while you are not!

10) Lack of training -Now more than ever, you and your people have to know how to operate, function and persevere. Now is the time to train and prepare for when the good times return. Simply getting over this will require great attitudes, ridiculous persistence, and better sales skills to successfully penetrate the market. Training, more than any other investment, will focus your people’s attention on what they can do rather than what they can’t do.

No matter what industry you are in right now, it’s time to EXPAND, not contract! Let others get lost in the bad news and choose to get smaller. Now is the time to expand and gain market share by disagreeing with the responses of those with whom you compete. Your competitors are weak and broke, most are unprepared and unwilling to do whatever it takes to get the job done, and most of them do little more than complain and respond to the economic downturn through contracts. Train your people now to expand and conquer the market by taking advantage of the mistakes your competitors make.

Grant Cardone, Author and Creator of Virtual Sales Training

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