A SLOW ECONOMY IS A DIFFICULT TIME FOR BUSINESS AND NO SALES PROFESSIONAL WELCOMES IT.
As business volume slumps, triggering apprehension of deeper recession and pessimisms and uncertainty can prevail.
However, it is an inevitable part of the economic cycle and organisations should learn to cope with it, sales professionals should develop a strategy to survive and thrive. They need to pursue the best possible opportunities despite the hardships.
Interestingly, many sales professionals and organisations not only survive when the economy is slow, they also thrive
When the economy is running smoothly or booming, many sales professionals become mere order takers and are not delivering value to their customers. There is hardly any skill required to push sales as the brand name of the product and huge consumer demand automatically result in sales.
But when the economy slows down, consumer demand dips for a large range of products. That is when, sharp sales skills should be used to keep the figures up. The smart ones succeed in selling reasonably well despite the hard times. It is important for the organizations to reassess their sales strategies as well as the efficiency of their sales teams.
During economic downturn, sales leaders need to be present with their teams and guide their thinking to what it means for their approach to sales during this period. They need to help their teams with creative problem solving and devise an actionable plan to counteract the ill effects of a sluggish economy.
It might take extra effort to continue to produce adequate sales, but the payoff will be exponential when the market turns around. Sales Leaders need to lead during these times by strategizing, motivating and rewarding the right behaviours to sell value rather than products.
Having said that, value is position specific. Move from product selling to value selling and to consultative-based selling. Despite commonalities, understanding the differences enables sales leaders to differentiate themselves from the competition.
In the field of selling, there is no ‘One Size Fits All.’ There are no generic customers – how you sell value must be customised to the individual, negotiated and presented in ways that it leads to stronger sales relationships and more sales overall.