We are selling in a different time (2009). The economy is lagging or flat out bad in some industries. In general I have heard these trends. Decisions are being delayed, pricing is more scrutinized and in general decision makers are not as decisive. This all leads to a longer selling cycle. For a Small Business Sales Team this can be an anxious time.
It does not mean you will sell less over time, it does mean you might experience a short term down turn. You probably have time on your hands that used to be filled with closing activity. What should you do to maintain sales motivation and keep your selling cycle as short as possible.
Lets cover what you should and should not do.
- Don’t spend all your time trying to close a deal that is on a delay.
- Do adjust your follow up appropriately to be ready to close when they are ready to buy.
- Don’t assume people are not interested in buying.
- Do prospect more than you did last year to find the buyers and be prepared to make up for any current lull.
- Don’t assume what worked last year will work this year.
- Make sure you are educating buyers thoroughly and provide your best ROI justifications.
- Don’t get sucked into negative talk.
- Be a positive light through this time, people will remember you.
- Don’t assume your pricing will work.
- See what your vendors can do for you so you can adjust pricing to clients.
Those who work harder and smarter today will be okay and prepare themselves for a bonanza once things start flowing again.
Update July 7, 2017. Some of our clients used these tips and have come out of the past recession with flying colors and higher profits. They focused on getting better with the things they could control. One company who went from 8 million in 2008 to 4.5 million in 2009 is now over 10 million. During a down time stay the course of good practices and things will come back.