In the course of our lifetimes most of us have experienced downward trends in the economy. Some of us tighten our belts and do with a little less. We delay our next car purchase, hold back on refreshing the wardrobe, and postpone that European vacation. Then again, others thrive.

Do you ever wonder how people do that, how some people have the knack to know just where to be when the going gets tough? A lot of us have heard the term, “Money goes to money.” People comment, “Wow, that person is so lucky no matter what s/he does, s/he always comes out on top.” The truth is—and we all know it—people must position themselves for success even in the bad times. One of my favorite quotes is, “Opportunity is what happens when preparation meets hard work.” In other words, being prepared for when the next opportunity knocks is the key to most people’s success.

It seems like the economy is starting to bounce back. Are you prepared? Some of your clients may be thinking about investing again, possibly in an expansion, a new building, marketing services, or an additional investment in their product or service that was negated by our most recent recession. I am sure you are sensing a new mindset among your prospects. Rather then talking about how bad things are, people are starting to say “I am seeing a little pick-up. Nothing great, but things are starting to turn around.” So why not use this following tip-list to prepare for your next sales call?

* Send informative, supportive emails. Feature comments from successful investors attesting to the fact that the economy has turned around. For example, recently Warren Buffett said, “The economy is showing significant and consistent improvement since the first time that the financial crisis broke in 2008.” This positive reinforcement of a turnaround helps reframe your prospect’s thinking and sets a good, positive environment for discussions.

* Propose efficiencies. Discuss some of your client’s past purchases or acquisitions and offer suggestions that would have them return to investing in a more efficient manner. They’ll appreciate your respect for their budget even though things are turning.

* Investigate your prospect’s industry. Uncover how leading companies are growing their business. Study their processes and share with your prospect how they might take advantage of the same opportunities.

* Review their past actions and efforts. See if these steps to success still apply. It is said that every businessperson has a secret path to his or her river of cash. Find your client’s comfort zone. He or she will be more inclined to invest now where they have found success in the past.

* Share knowledge. When prospects are asked why they award their business to certain salespeople, trust is always number one. But a close second is knowledge and education. Remember, it is our job to keep our clients on the cutting edge, at the forefront of their industry. I did say their industry, not your industry. Remember, whether you are selling a copier, a building, or photography services what most excites your prospect is not how you just invested in the latest camera equipment but how one of their competitors is making use of that technology to increase their success. It’s not about the success your firm is having, it is about how your firm has enabled your clients to increase their success.

I hope some of my thoughts have inspired you to think in a slightly different way. Most importantly I hope I have motivated you to go out and turn over a couple more stones. Existing clients will share new opportunities with you. And there are new prospects as well. Prospects that have exciting ideas, who during the recession worked hard at positioning their new product or service to take advantage of every opportunity. They will be your competition of tomorrow. Let me suggest you become your own competitor, today. Push yourself to compete with yesterday’s offerings and provide new, innovative, efficient, and success-building solutions to your clients. Here’s to finding success in selling.

Anthony Quaranta is the president of Q Group, Hauppauge, N.Y.