Slowdown? Recession? Implosion!

Whatever you call it, the rate economic growth rate of businesses has slowed to a crawl, and that is scaring the pants off of a lot of people. Your own company may not be affected in any way, but the fact is many people are worried about their future. Very worried.

Bad news?  In some ways, yes – obviously.  Worried folks spend less money.  They no longer buy on impulse, making each transaction, each sale, a little bit harder.

Opportunity? Yes. Here’s why.

Your success is directly determined by the way you are perceived, and the amount of effort you put into your career. Changing either of those variables will have a huge impact on whether you succeed or fail when the going gets tough.

In other words, in good times or in bad, the type of sales person you choose to be is 100% up to you. Chose to be “nice” – by which I mean honest, open and empathetic to your customers’ needs – and you will experience consistent sales growth, build an excellent reputation and become a leader in your field, regardless of the market you sell in or the state of the economy

Any recession will only be what YOU make of it. Just look around, in my town I still see people jammed into shopping malls and spending, spending, spending. Every flight I am on these days is packed full with passengers, and the high end restaurants we treat ourselves at are still the toughest reservations around. The Hyatt at am staying at tonight is on Disney property (or close) and it’s full. Compared with the rest of the world, we really have nothing to complain about.

Now, know prices are going up for many things. You may have lost some equity in real estate. Last week it cost me $96 to fill up my car and Chris’s mom (who were where visiting in Edmonton last week noted that she paid $13 for a bag of flour. Your rates may have increased too.

But it’s especially important as sales people that we do NOT follow the thinking of the masses. If you let the news get to you and become timid about your sales efforts and stop asking people to make decisions, you WILL feel the “recession”. So it’s important more than ever to simply refuse to participate in all the worry.

Stop blaming the economy. It’s not the economy that’s the problem. Here are a few sales tips and tactics that will definitely help when things get rough.  These tips apply whenever your company needs a boost.  You can think of them as turnaround tactics.

1. Work Harder. If you’re not working hard enough, work harder! Get out and make those extra calls. If that doesn’t work, make five more. When money is flowing and customers are buying everything in sight on a whim, you don’t have to sell very hard.  Hey – either they buy or they don’t.  And if they don’t, there are plenty of other buyers, so who cares. But when customers are feeling the pinch they become circumspect about how they spend their money, and it takes more persuasion to get them to buy. If you’re not working hard enough, work harder! Get out and make those extra calls. If that doesn’t work, make five more. Research shows that it takes as many as eleven – “touches” to get someone to take action.  And sales data shows that most people stop closing after the forth try. Sell harder. Work harder Ask more often. Go back to your prospects repeatedly.

2. Improve your perception in the marketplace. To solve this issue it, you first need to answer two questions: How do your customers perceive you? And how should they perceive you?  For detailed answers to this question check out our article what type of sales person are you?

To start improving how you are perceived, go on a media news diet. Mainstream news is only interested in promoting fear, because fear sells. Have you ever noticed that after watching just 20 minutes of CNN, CTV or Fox you actually feel depressed and saps your confidence to succeed? I mean, you may as well curl up under the covers and hide because there are no businesses left to sell to!

The trouble is, your depression is palpable. Your customers can sense it. And no one wants to buy from a depressed sales person who lacks confidence. The biggest risk to you is the creating of a self fulfilling prophecy. You get depressed from the news. You take a depressed attitude into a sales meeting. Your client will not buy because you are…well… depressing and sucking the life out of them. You go back home a failure and take solace in the news that it’s the economy’s fault. You continue to fail

Stop it! You need to safe guard your mind, look for the good news, turn off your TV and use your brain.

3. Complete a lost client reactivation campaign. The first place you should start looking is your existing customer database. Some are more detailed than others, but most keep track of who you’ve done business with in the past, what they have bought from you and when. It’s a potential goldmine for sales. With a little digging, you might surprise yourself at how many people you know!

You can uncover prospects who have called you in the past but who never bought from you. You may also find clients you haven’t heard from in a while. Find out what happened. Did they choose one of your competitors instead? Were they lured away by a better offer? Were they unhappy with a previous experience? Or maybe it was simply that they hadn’t heard from you in a while and that you had fallen off their radar. Whatever the reason, your job is to find out what happened and find a way to get these people back into your prospecting funnel.

4. Go back to your current clients and offer to help with new opportunities. In times of economic stress companies “stick close to their knitting” In other words they are not looking for to make a change. Now is not the time to risk working with a new agencies. Now is the time your clients will give you more business, or even better, consolidate all their orders to your firm. If you have clients who in the past have not given you 100% of their orders, now is the time to ask for them. Talk to your clients about the benefits of consolidating. If you can give them a better rate, do it. If there is security or ease associated with giving you all the orders, talk to them about it now.

5. Make It Easier For People To Do Business With You.Recently I saw a blog posting suggesting businesses toughen their credit policies. I was shocked! Why on earth would you go out of your way to make it harder for people to do business with you?  Especially if the had good credit with you yesterday! You should be doing just the opposite: make it easier.  Remember the old saying: when everyone else sells, buy. If your competitors are running scared, welcome their customers with open arms.  Offer terms. Give people credit.  Take Credit cards, Interview for free. Stay open longer.  Extend warranties. Provide better service.

Dedicated to increasing your sales,


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