One of the coolest things about sales is that it is recession proof! Depending on what you sell and the value of it to your client consumer, the more recession proof it may be. But what really matters are the steps you can take to prevent declining sales in a declining economy.
First of all, do an attitude check! Your attitude will greatly determine the strength of your sales production. In any economy it is really up to you how confident and positive you come across to your clients and prospects. If you communicate with hesitancy or fear your clients will pick up on that, and buy from someone else. If you communicate with pessimism letting your client know how worried you are about the current market, your clients will pick up on that, and buy from someone else.
So start by treating each sale as if it is your only sale! Build trust, loyalty and confidence from your clients and they will always buy from you. Always. Selling is a relationship business and people buy from people they like. It’s a known fact. Always provide impeccable customer service. Always thank your client for their business and referrals they send you. Keep your headset grounded and focused.
Easier said than done? Maybe! But if you take care of yourself and pay attention to your own headset you can stay ahead of the curve. Ten tips:
- Pay attention to the market but ignore negative colleagues and clients. Negativity and fear are contagious and before you know it the person sitting next to you who has given up has rubbed off on you.
- Practice “Self Care”. Every day. Whether you exercise, diet, meditate or journal, do something every day to stay strong. It will pay off big time. Sluggish disposition and health leads to sluggish sales performance.
- Get a mentor or become a mentor to someone. It’s the best way to provide a consistent rhythm of checks and balances. Mentoring is a great way to keep your own skills and expertise sharp. It also is very gratifying to see your influence positively support someone else’s growth and development.
- Pay extra close attention to your sales numbers. Typical trends may not be typical. Peaks and valleys may be more frequent than you are used to. Margins may be slipping in an attempt to close deals and loosen up on strong negotiations. These are signs you can analyze daily, weekly and monthly.
- Dig deep into your client base. Make sure you contact buyers you have lost touch (and sales) with. Stay in close touch with them. When tough times hit, some of your competition will move on and leave accounts waiting for you to pick up! That’s money on the table for you.
- Stay current. Keep up with certifications and necessary training. This is a perfect time to work on your sales skills and product knowledge. Master the process in tough times and you will breeze through the rest of your sales career.
- Network more. Attend association events and industry gigs. Stay in the limelight (or get in the limelight) and become known as the expert in your field. Make it your business to be first on client’s minds when they have a need but are limited to how many vendors they can call for quotes, bids or proposals.
- Watch your expenses. Keep them conservative. Reduce them where you can. Cut back on expenses you can live without for a month and see how you do. If you are a CEO or CFO, keep headcount lean and quotas aggressive. Reconsider plans to expand, relocate or invest in new furnishings or equipment.
- Renew your passion! Read testimonial letters you have collected. Call a colleague that inspires you, or read an industry book or trade magazine. Fall in love with what you do again… Remember you have chosen to do what you do, right?
- Document accomplishments and successes every day! Stay aware of what’s going right. When you document daily, imagine what kind of reading you have written for yourself at the end of a tough month. That kind of motivation costs you the price of a computer page or pen and pad of paper.
I remember my first recession. I didn’t even know what the word meant. (Yes, I was that young) Everyone around me was talking gibberish and doom & gloom. I just kept selling! My sales were higher that year than ever before. Lesson learned.
Start today! Take these ten steps, create a few of your own and you will recession proof your sales.