Be ethical times are tough, and sales are more difficult to come by in many industries

1. Be ethical Times are tough, and sales are more difficult to come by in many industries. There are those who price gouge, or leave their customers high and dry at the first sign of complaint, and they get away with it, right?

The number one reason my web design company is thriving this year when so many are struggling is because of our customers. We call them to check in after a project is done, we give them discounts for purchasing our services in volume, and we’re on call for them 24/7 in case of emergencies. We treat them like family.

As a result, they continue to do business with us, and even refer new clients to us. Being ethical, even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard, always pays. Period.

2. Study, study, study Knowing your business inside and out gives you an edge over competitors that are just in it for a paycheck. It means faster turnaround times on jobs, which means lower expenses for you and lower prices for your customers, and lower prices mean higher demand.

3. Plan, plan, plan The longer I’ve been in business, the more I see the incredible time and money saving practice of planning. There’s an old saying: “Plan your work and work your plan.” Man, that’s the truth. My experience has been that one hour of planning saves me 10 hours of work. That’s not an exaggeration.

4. Schedule everything If it ain’t scheduled, it ain’t happenin’. There are plenty of sales guys, techs and marketing professionals who have no shortage of talent, but can’t keep a deadline to save their life. My observation has been that most of the time, it’s not because the person couldn’t meet the deadline; it’s just because a deadline wasn’t set at all.

5. Always have a next step When I first started in sales, I noticed that even though I was having some really great conversations with prospects, the relationship never seemed to go anywhere. Then I realized the problem: I was leaving conversations with no game plan for the future.

That’s just the start! Learn 5 more business lessons at the Aqua Vita Insider: 10 Things I Learned About Business This Year

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