Times are tough and we're going to hell in a hand-basket. Think that's true? The media seems to. And so might your customers.

The truth, though, is that for you as a salesperson, much depends on your attitude and how well you are trained.

PROSPECTS WITH NEEDS Here are the facts: There will continue to be people in your market who need the products or services you sell. It's up to you to find them and then have the selling system that encourages them to buy now.

Your true role as a salesperson is to overcome objections and other forms of resistance.

If you really believe that money spent improving the home is money well spent, that's a good start. However, your job also requires that you do a complete needs-assessment on each home you visit, examining in detail the specific needs of the property and uncovering the value system of the owners.

You must present — stronger than ever — the features and benefits of your products or services and show how they meet the needs of the property and the customer better than anything else available in your market.

You must also establish the value of your product or service and show how the investment will pay dividends to the buyer.

ROLE-PLAY FOR SUCCESS Today more than ever, you must role-play your product presentation, price presentation, responses to price questions and objections, and the closing story at the end of your presentation. You must aim for and achieve professional excellence.

One caveat: Objections from prospects such as, “We'll think it over,” or “We'll get back to you,” are not barriers to the consummation of the sale. They're simply hurdles you must overcome.

The choice is yours. You can buy into the negativity of the press and the doom-sayers or you can start selling more professionally.

—Dave Yoho is president of the oldest, largest, and most successful consulting group serving the home improvement industry; www.daveyoho.com; 703.591.2490.