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Paul Reilly

“I cannot find enough product to sell right now.”

“Our lead times have never been longer.”

“We can’t find enough people to support our customers.”

“I’ve had to raise prices three times this year.”

These are the common complaints I hear from those competing in the current market. They’re dealing with the realities of selling during peak demand. Although peak demand provides stability and long-term opportunities, it also creates unique challenges. Ironically, having more demand than supply creates a tough selling environment. It’s a different stressor than what we experience during a downturn. It’s a good problem to have, but it’s still frustrating. Remember to be thankful for this current challenging sales environment. It certainly beats the alternative.

Although this current tough time is unique, this tough time is also good. It’s good because of the positive change that will stem from this struggle. Within every challenge lies an opportunity. In my new book, Selling Through Tough Times (available October 2021), I share countless examples of how our struggles create immense opportunity. This unique tough time is no different.

As you navigate the current market, maintain your perspective and look for the opportunity. Here are seven thoughts to help you thrive in the current selling environment:

Several years ago, Tiger Woods was asked in an interview to comment on the PGA lengthening the courses because he was hitting the ball further. The reporter wanted to know if he was frustrated by this. Tiger said he wasn’t frustrated, because the course will be longer for everyone, not just him. Right now, everyone is facing the same challenge, not just you.

For example, one salesperson recently shared his experience of helping a customer during a product shortage. This customer desperately needed product, but nothing was available. The seller contacted another customer who recently stocked up on this high-demand product. The salesperson was able to broker a deal for the two customers to share the extra inventory. That salesperson created personal value.

Tough times are temporary. They don’t last, and neither does the stress they create. This past summer we watched the Olympics and celebrated the victories. There was a noticeable absence in the Olympic pool this year—Michael Phelps. Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time. Phelps had to manage and overcome several challenging times throughout his career. Consider Phelps’ famous quote on overcoming adversity: “There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work…there are no limits.”

Paul Reilly is a speaker, sales trainer, author of Selling Through Tough Times. Visit to download two complimentary chapters of Paul’s new book!  Paul is also the co-author of Value-Added Selling, fourth edition (McGraw-Hill, 2018), and host of The Q and A Sales Podcast. Contact Paul at 636-778-0175 or email






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