By Cody Crail
Being in sales is simple and carefree when economic times are good and your prospects are riding high, profitable and flush with cash. When times are tough and your customers are facing major headwind, sales can feel like slogging through a swamp where you keep putting in maximum effort and yet can’t make any progress. To be successful at sales in good and bad times your strategy must adjust for the present-day reality. You need to stay aware and empathic to your customer’s current condition.
When someone is struggling, they typically start seeking expert advice, support and guidance. No matter what you are selling, you’d better figure out how to connect with your customer instantly by addressing their situation and bringing solutions to the conversation. Your pitch needs to focus around how you can help alleviate the pain and bring them to a better place. Being sincere and compassionate becomes more important than ever when your customer is struggling. Now is not the time to talk about how well your company is doing or how great your product or service is. This is the time to focus on their problems and how you can help.
Re-evaluating your offering, prices, terms and overall services is also vital when your customers are facing challenges. Shelley Armato, CEO at MySmartPlans, says you have to embrace the challenge and that necessity is the mother of invention during these times. “Assessing the situation and determining where your business can add value is the key.” If instead of being a salesperson, you become a partner to your customer who sacrificed or modified your standards to help, that customer will be so much more likely to pay you back with loyalty and growth when times get better. Truly care and truly help! Good karma shows up your sales efforts. Trust me, I see it all the time!