Fly’s Friday Five: What is Your Level of Confidence?

Written by: Gary Fly
Flys Friday Five


We’re going to revisit a topic we’ve talked about before: what to do with these macro headwinds? I recently read a Vistage CEO Confidence Survey*, and a few things struck me. One is the precipitous drop in CEO confidence. The high point was 12 months ago, and the low point was after the end of the second quarter. In fact, it had dropped from 108 to a 69, which is the lowest level it has been since 2005.

*Side note: I don’t know if you all are members of associations or groups like Vistage, but I find it to be hugely valuable, and they have great research that I use pretty regularly.

So clearly, CEOs are concerned about a few things, and that’s been driven by these macro events. Inflation, interest rates, wage increases, the talk of recession, and all of the things that we keep hearing about as business leaders and salespeople – these are things that we’re being challenged with. And remember, the people we’re selling to are also hearing these same messages. So, it’s a really interesting time for salespeople and sales leaders.

We’d like to suggest to you that there are five things that you can do right now to help assuage some of these fears:

  1. See reality and take action. Acknowledge where you are. Acknowledge industries or verticals you’re selling into. Look at who’s being successful in selling and what they’re doing, but see reality and take action based on that reality.
  2. Establish a trusted advisor relationship with clients and potential clients. Russ Sharer and Michelle Richardson talk about this in their book, Agile & Resilient: Sales Leadership for the New Normal. And it’s not about just shipping a lot of information to folks; it’s not about just giving them content; it’s really around providing information that’s helpful to particular clients at a particular point in time. So, it’s sort of personalizing that information that you send to them.
  3. Understand and sell your value. We recently went through an exercise where we interviewed successful clients that we’ve worked with, as well as clients that didn’t choose us. And we did some competitor research to really understand what makes us unique and why people are buying from us. Now we’re selling on those points. It’s important for our sellers to understand that and to be able to articulate it. It is a critical time, I think, to sell on value.
  4. Arm your team with training and tools. They need to be confident, and when they go to the marketplace, they need to be trained on what they’re selling. They need to have the tools to help them be successful sellers. This is a critical time to invest in tools and training in your team.
  5. Support your sellers. I think that ranges for a lot of different things. It can be marketing and making sure your sales team and your marketing team are aligned. It can be ensuring that you’re pointing them to the correct prime prospect – make sure that they’re hunting in the right waters, if you will.

So, I think that those five things are critical to do right now, and I think that that’s the way you’re going to sell your way through these macro headwinds. Always happy to discuss, always happy to debate. We’d be happy to provide more information if you would like. Feel free to reach out to me at

Written By

Gary Fly

Written By

Gary Fly

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