Of course it is. You might not know it looking at the stock market indexes. But look at restaurant closings, retail store bankruptcies, airline passenger miles. We are in a period of poor economic times. But one lesson I learned from my father is his belief that “just because there is a recession, you don’t have to participate.” So what do great salespeople do to survive now that the COVID recession is here?
Listen To Your Best Customers During The COVID Recession
Your customers’ reaction to their markets determines how it will affect your business with them. Keep in close touch with your A list customers. Ask good questions about their outlook. Find out their plans to deal with this business disruption. Share this information within your company so you can adjust your business plans to survive or better yet thrive during this COVID recession.
Look At The Markets You Serve
Various markets are affected differently by a recession. In the last one (2008ish) I was selling custom fabricated metal work to the building construction industry. Just prior to the recession the Commonwealth of Virginia issued a bond for construction at the public colleges and universities. I allied myself with the construction companies that focused on the higher education market. Projects with those companies carried us through the recession with minimal effect on business. Great salespeople pay attention to each of the markets they sell to. They are aware of how those markets are affected by economic conditions.
Evaluate Your Products And Services
During this COVID recession, your best customers rely on you to provide products and services to help their business weather these down times. Great salespeople continue to emphasize how their products or services add value to their customers. Do you offer just-in-time delivery? Flexible stocking levels? Online business services? Make sure your customers know the benefit your company is to their business.
Create An Urgency To Change
During a recession, some of your customers will “hunker down.” Others will be looking to improve their ability to “weather the storm.” Now is the time great salespeople bring out the stories of how purchasing now has helped their customers through a recession. Show by example how you solved problems for your customers in times of economic recession. Create some “pain” within your customer’s organization to make the decision to purchase now. Great salespeople know the best defense is a strong offense. They provide valuable service to their customers helping them survive the COVID recession.
Great Salespeople Are Always Improving
If a recession is here, how do great salespeople react? They study best practices, prepare value messages relative to their buyers needs and rehearse sales conversations. Great salespeople develop new skills to address changing markets and customer needs. They seek out mentors with experience selling in “down times.” They look to these top performers for advice and to develop strategies for changing economic times. Great salespeople are never complacent. They know that the selling environment is always changing. And they keep improving their selling skills to keep pace with whatever change comes.
What You Can Do Right Now Since The COVID Recession Is Here
- Continue to meet with your customers asking good questions to determine their needs.
- Develop several probing questions to determine their concern with the recession.
- Learn the new skills needed to add value to your customers in a recession.
- Follow the economic news to prepare yourself to help customers during the recession.
- Evaluate your customer list to see who might benefit most from you during a recession.
- Be optimistic that your preparation and skill will get you through the recession in good shape.