What does selling in a recession have to do with the Tampa Bay Rays? Keep reading!

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are going to the World Series this year.

Last year their record was 66-96 and they finished in 5th Pl.

This year their record was 97-65 and they finished 1st Place in the AL Eastern Division.

Playing baseball is more fun obviously when you're winning.

Last year the Tampa Bay Rays spent most of the year losing.

As a professional sales person you're going to spend most of the coming year selling in a recession.

Is there anything to be learned from the Tampa Bay Rays turn around performance during 2008?

I think so.

Joe Maddon is the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Early in spring training he tried to shake things up.

He introduced players to the 9 = 8 theory. The logic went like this. Nine players playing hard for nine innings would result in Tampa Bay being one of the eight playoff teams. 9 = 8!

When you combine Joe's mantra with his very sunny disposition it all came together for the team. Pitcher Andy Sonnanstine said, "Positivity kind of ran through the clubhouse all year - he's a very infectious person."

Here are some things you might try doing as you face the the challenge of selling in a recession head on:

1. Always, always, always, expect the best outcome. You'll get what you expect.

2. Your glass is neither half-empty or half filled - it's overflowing with opportunities.

3. Before every sales call flip the switch on your smile - show me your teeth and I'll show you the money.

4. Have an attitude of gratitude - be thankful for what you have and show your appreciation to people who help you throughout your selling year.

5. Joe Maddon's mantra was 9 = 8. Change the numbers so that your mantra 5 = 5 = 50. Establish a goal of five sales calls everyday, five days a week, for 50 weeks. Change the numbers to fit your business if you must. But as soon as you firm up your numbers you have to think of nothing else if you want to exceed your sales plan during the coming year.

6. If you're like most salespeople, your company will assign you a sales quota. Forget about it! Don't aim for your quota, always aim higher. If you aim higher and come up a little short, you'll still exceed your quota.

7. Stop doing stupid things. Avoid wasting valuable selling time rechecking for voicemails and e-mails. You'll spend less time fighting fires if you don't start them in the first place.

8. Don't accept the first "No" as final. After seven "No's" it's okay to move on to greener pastures.

9. Focus on doing little things for your sales prospects and customers. In sales little things mean a lot.

10. When you're calling on sales prospects for the first time don't lust after 100% of their business because that's what all salespeople do. Praise your sales prospect for the suppliers he has chosen. Ask him for only "1%" of the business and the opportunity to earn the rest.

11. Finally, get excited about your business. If your business doesn't excite you at least fake it during sales calls. Your excitement and enthusiasm are infectious and so is the lack of your excitement and enthusiasm.

It's easy to think you're good when the good times are rolling and the economy is booming.

It's easy to be good when you're selling in a recession if you're focused, disciplined, dedicated, and unwilling to accept lackluster selling results.

It's time to take risks, take chances, and go out on the limb once in a while.

And remember you only need to be a little better to get a lot better selling results when you're selling in a recession.

There's a big difference between hoping and believing!

5 = 5 = 50!

Author's Bio: 

Jim Meisenheimer shows salespeople how to increase sales using no-brainer selling skills.

If this down economy is getting you down, Jim's FREE Selling Report reveals 25 Ways To Get Motivated.

Get it at www.startsellingmore.com/getmotivated.html