Recession Sales Strategies For a Troubled Economy

During my career in sales I’ve seen both strong and troubled economies. Selling in a strong economy is nirvana. Money is flowing and companies are concerned about growth. All that changes in a recession and salespeople must also changes their sales strategies. I have some advice for you about recession sales strategies.

Pay attention to two words used during a recession. The first word is “loss”. In a strong economy, everyone wants to get ahead. In a recession, everyone wants to cut his or her losses. People and companies are motivated to hold on to what they have and just survive until conditions improve. The “fear of loss” is a powerful motivator and must be part of a rep’s sales strategies when selling in a recession.

The second word is “uncertainty”. We live in uncertain economic times. There is uncertainty about the economy and when it will rebound. “Uncertainty” is another powerful word that salespeople need to deal with as part of their overall sales strategies during a recession. Uncertainty paralyzes prospects and motivates them to do nothing.

So, how do we incorporate “loss” and “uncertainty” into our recession sales strategies? Let’s take them one at a time and put them to work.

Dealing With The Fear Of Loss

Your product or service may save your clients money or make them more productive. These are the benefits and we already know we should be selling benefits. Never sell a mop to someone that wants a clean floor. Sell the benefit of having that mop… a clean floor.

Benefits are positive advantages and that’s how salespeople present them to their prospects. However, when dealing with the “fear of loss” as a recession sales strategy, salespeople must change how benefits are presented. There is also a negative side to benefits. The negative side is what happens when a prospect fails to take advantage of a benefit. Both the positive and negative sides must be emphasized when dealing with the fear of loss. Let’s explore how this works when incorporated into recession sales strategies.

Let’s say a salesperson can save prospect money. Well, the savings don’t begin until the prospect agrees to hand over some money to the sales rep and at that point, the “fear of loss” enters the sales process. The salesperson may, and should, calculate a strong ROI (Return On Investment) model for the prospect but the “fear of loss” is still strong because the salesperson is only focused on the positive benefit of “savings”. Recession sales strategies must also include the negative aspect of not taking advantage of the benefits. As it relates to “the fear of loss”, the prospect must also hear… “Stop losing your money”.

Dealing With Uncertainty

The best way to deal with a prospect’s uncertainty is to sell with what I call, “Absolute Certainty” This is not the time for salespeople to look for shortcuts. Recession sales strategies require extra work because the salesperson must connect all the dots for their prospect. I already mentioned the importance of strong ROI models as a recession sales strategy. However, there will be uncertainty over the reality of actually receiving those returns.

“Absolute Certainty”, as a recession sales strategy, requires proof beyond all doubt. Reference selling is one way to start removing that doubt and uncertainty. The salesperson must demonstrate that they’ve successfully delivered the benefits they are promising to other clients. Testimonials and Customer Success Stories must be part of a rep’s recession sales strategies because they are powerful tools to overcome “uncertainty”.

In these economic times, a different way of selling is required to achieve sales success. That’s why I now include these and other recession sales strategies in all my sales training. I hope you’ll remember these recession sales strategies and put them to good use.

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