Have you heard? According to S&P Global Market Intelligence 1 and others, a recession this year is more likely than not. Are you ready to sell in a recession? You can be. Here’s what you can do to start to sell in a recession.
Don’t be shy! You must talk yourself up to sell in a recession!
Now is not the time to be quiet about the work you’re doing. Identify all your contacts at each of your accounts. Set up a meeting with them. Are you wondering which accounts you have to meet with? You don’t have to work on all of your accounts. Just work with the ones you want to keep!
What are you going to talk about? You are not going to set up a meeting to touch base! Make sure your contacts are aware of the work you have been doing at their business. It’s not enough to simply say, “I’ve been selling you X.” You have work to do if that’s the only thing you can say. Discuss the value you’ve brought your customer and have it in writing
Demonstrate your value so you keep your business.
Companies are watching every penny now. As a result, cut backs and layoffs are real. Your value in a recession is what you do to help your customers reduce costs, avoid costs or make them money. Are you doing that already?
All too often I hear about hard working sales professionals who sell products that solve problems and save their customers considerable amounts of money. Yet, they never document these cost savings. You don’t have to write an extensive report of these savings. A simple savings letter will do.
Here’s what to include in the savings letter. Discuss the problem the customer was experiencing. Quantify the problem. Often the customer won’t have a precise idea, but will have a ball park number of the hours of downtime, the product reject numbers or other data that’s causing the problem. Quantify what each hour or rejected product is worth. Develop an annual figure for the problem’s cost.
The second paragraph includes what the customer saved from using your product or service. Calculate the cost reduction in the problem for your product or service. Ask if the problem impacted other areas and include those costs. The third paragraph is where you thank your contacts for helping achieve these cost savings. Their management needs to know about their good work, too.
Work on building relationships.
You’ve probably heard that many companies are laying off employees, but not just technology companies. You don’t want to find out later this year that your biggest champion is no longer at your important accounts.
So start building new relationships of supporters with additional departments. Consider people in purchasing, engineering, and operations. Consider all the departments where you do not have contacts and your work might impact them.
What do you talk about with new contacts? You ask them how you can help them with their work. The beauty of that question is that you learn more about another part of your customer’s organization and as a result where you might help and sell more. You must develop new contacts in a recession If you don’t have them in the areas that your work could particularly impact.
You can certainly hope the recession doesn’t last long or that your customers avoid it. Regardless, you’ve strengthened your business if the economy doesn’t go into a recession.