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12 Tips on Selling in a Slow Economy

My clients and I have a motto, “Don’t Be Denied.”  What a great time for the cream to rise to the top. When weaker salespeople worry about a slow economy and its negative effects on their business, Champions rise to the challenge.  You have to decide if you are a Champion or not.

This blog was written in 2009, and I’m updating it now in 2022. Market swings are nothing new, and downturns or slow economies are part of doing business if you want it to last. I have sold through the recession in the 80s, been through the dot.com bust, started a new business in September 2001 (9/11), and seen the same happen. The best sales people get it done because they know what to do and “Do It”.  There is no time to worry about the economy. The economy will take care of itself and the focus is still the same; find people who want your product and service and prove to them why they should buy from you.

Here are some reminders to consider for this year:

  • There might be fewer deals so make sure you are focusing on larger business.
  • The best companies will be buying which are the companies that are more fun to work with.
  • While we don’t have to worry about the economy, we do need to understand it. Assess which industries will be hit less with cash shortfalls and work these.
  • Work your referral networks diligently.
  • Focus on growing all contacts and marketing yourself to someone new everyday.
  • Don’t let excellent service go unrewarded. Ask for the referral once you shine with a customer.
  • Find your best ambassadors in your office to funnel leads to you.
  • Maintain a high value position with customers.
  • Don’t take budgets for granted. Make sure you know what they have to spend and how much wiggle room they have before presenting your proposal.
  • Don’t spend time listening to other reps whining about the economy.
  • Re-work data bases from those reps that fall away. There is business to be found that was not allowed to surface.
  • Find more efficiencies through technology and resources. You might need to work harder or have more conversations, so improve.
  • Get creative with the finance packages you can offer. Little tweaks can make or break the deal.

Anyone can have a great year when the economy is growing but true champions find a way to win when circumstances are less favorable. In 2009 Don’t Be Denied.

Rene is the President of Sales Manager Now, a company that provides fractional sales management services to small and family-run businesses. He has twenty-seven years of experience in sales leadership, coaching, and consulting. He is also the author of the Part-Time Sales Management handbook and is based in Auburn, California.

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