We are in tough times, no doubt about it.  As sales professionals we must be the ones to keep our heads.  Selling in a down economy is impossible without Creating Personal Curb Appeal.  Most people connect the term “curb appeal” to checking out a house or building from the street.  How does it look from the street?  Is it attractive to the eye from the outside?
Personal curb appeal involves much more than how we look on the outside.  Sure, we need to look sharp when selling in a down economy (or in any economy for that matter), but real personal curb appeal originates from within.  Before we ever start connecting with customers and prospects, we must feel it is inevitable that we can help people.  We must feel it is inevitable that we will continue to progress even in tough economic times.  It simply will happen.  It is happening.  We will help other people reach their goals.  We will reach your goals.  We are progressing and we help others progress. 
People pick up on that feeling.  It’s a buzz, an aura.  It surrounds us.  It’s appealing.  It draws the right people to us.  Andra Grava, an extremely successful and well-connected business owner and entrepreneur in my network, told me about a really interesting business organization called Success North Dallas.  One of their few criteria for membership is that you must be a success in your own eyes.
Be a success in your own eyes.  That’s what I’m talking about. 
We have to feel successful.  Not Cocky or Uppity, just good about ourselves.  This creates personal curb appeal.  We can’t go to a sales presentation looking for success.  We have to take success with us to the sales presentation.  Success breeds success.  Success attracts success. 
It is so important to feel successful.  To believe we are progressing.  To feel like a winner.  Feeling successful makes us attractive to be around.  We ooze confidence.  We create an aura of inevitability.  We must believe we can help.  That we will help in these tough times.  It is inevitable.  Selling in a down economy is about building trust with customers.  We have to have that trust in ourselves first. 
With all the bummer economic news surrounding us, sometimes we are going to have to act more positive and confident than we feel.  If we do, we will soon start to feel more positive and confident.  By modifying the negative perceptions about our opportunities, we will more easily build greater trust and rapport with others. 
Finally, I know this is almost impossible to pull off, but TRY to compete only with yourself and do not compare yourself with others.  Your overriding goal is to be the best you can be.  And, Don’t let anyone (including yourself) say you can’t do it. 
As a young student, Martin Luther King, Jr., was told by a teacher that he would never be able to speak with enough passion to motivate people into taking action.
Thomas Edison was told by educators that he was too stupid to comprehend anything.
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he had “no good ideas.”
Beethoven’s music instructor once said of him, “As a composer, he is hopeless.”
A magazine editor once informed Emily Dickinson that he could not publish her poems because they failed to rhyme.
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team at the start of his sophomore year.  
Selling in a down economy is not easy, but it offers a solid opportunity to be progress.
More on Selling in a down economy and tough times in future posts.
Be Progress.