I’ve been saying to my audience that an economic downturn is coming for at least 18 months now. Of course, I didn’t know that we would be in the current situation that we are in. But, as I follow experts who have a track record of predicting the economic trends and foreseeing a global recession and economic downturn – I did believe one was coming soon.
Although, not like this, and not this sudden.
Since the financial markets plummeted, people have been panicking about the economic downturn and looming global recession. I’ve had so many clients and members of my community ask me what to do. They’ve heard me talk about the fact that this was coming. How we will need to prepare and adapt. Now they are really sitting up and paying attention as like many of us, they are scared, unsure and wanting answers.
Now I am no economist, but I did study economics at University, and it’s always been a topic I love. Plus, I do know a thing or two about selling during an economic downturn.
I Not Only Survived the Last Global Recession, I Thrived!
During the 2008/2009 Great Recession I was working in corporate sales in a new business development role, where I was 100% responsible for creating my own sales from cold. I was literally given a phone, a list of companies and a financial target to hit. Each month I would have to start back on zero with a revenue target to meet for both me, and my sales team.
To make my already challenging sales role even more tricky, the service that I was selling was helping SME’s and corporates to build and grow their sales teams. This was at a time when there were massive recruitment/budget freezes because of the global recession. According to a report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) there were over 1.3 million redundancies in the UK alone.
Thankfully for me, I had always been a consistent top-performer in my role as I was very good at selling and winning new business. So, I knew what to do to replace the companies who were suddenly on budget freezes, or making redundancies.
Also, my fabulous mentors who owned the business that I worked for, were super savvy and paid for us to have world-class, advanced sales training specifically on how to sell during a recession.
What I learned and How This Knowledge Can Help you!
I learned a lot during those years. I developed skills and knowledge that is essential once again today to not only me, but to entrepreneurs just like you, who want to know how to successfully ride the wave that is coming.
I will be sharing more on this topic soon, but today I’d like to share a few key points with you that will help you be prepared so that you can sell your way through a global recession:
1. Now is the Time to put Your Foot on the Gas
If you are like me and have been working 4 hour/4 day weeks in your business because the sales have been flowing and you enjoy your freedom, well now is the time to up the ante, put in the hours and get moving, as time is of the essence right now.
2. Execute and Execute Fast
Now is not the time to be procrasti-planning. The landscape is changing even by the day – what your audience needs now may change by next month.
You need to make quick decisions and move FAST. Find a need, create a solution and then get straight out there to sell it.
3. Your Numbers will Need to Increase
Many businesses will need to do more, to just sustain the same level of sales, let alone business growth. This means generating more leads/prospects, speaking to more people, and having more sales calls.
If you don’t up your numbers, you may find your revenue will decrease.
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4. You will Need Improve Each Step of the Sales Process
Get better at generating leads, get better at converting sales conversations to clients and get better at getting cash in the bank.
Now more than ever you will need to optimise each and every step, from client attraction, to generating sales/discovery calls, to handling sales objections, to negotiating and ensuring you get paid without discounting.
5. You’ll Need to Actually Start Selling Now and Not Just Relying on Marketing
Let’s be honest it’s been pretty easy to rock up online as a self-proclaimed expert, be ‘visible’ and post a lot of ok-ish content to build a 6-fig+ biz in recent years. That will no longer be an effective method for most.
Content marketing will continue to do the ‘heavy-lifting’ for you, but entrepreneurs of all levels will need to do sales activities as well as marketing activities now.
6. The Way You Sell will Need to Change
Transactional selling won’t cut the mustard anymore, you’ll need consultative sales skills that will enable you to find out the intricacies of your potential customers’ needs, so that you can effectively demonstrate how your solution helps, so that they see that it is what they need to buy (and now).
7. The Way you Launch will Need to Change
Even if you are used to cracking out consistent 6-fig launches by putting on a webinar or online challenge, this too will change. Sales calls will now become an essential part of your sales process. If before you only got on a call for your £10,000+ high-ticket products, you’ll now need to get on a call for those you want to sell your £1,000 group program to.
If you aren’t good at, or don’t like sales calls you have three choices – 1. Suck it up and try, 2. Hire a sales person, 3. Hire me to help you ace your sales calls (or to help you hire and manage a sales person/team) 😉
8. You’ll Need to Get Better at Account Management and Development
This means not just thinking the sale is over once you have been paid, but always being ‘in the loop’ with your clients so you know when they are ready to buy something new from you, and so you know when they are considering ending your contract or going to a competitor.
Nurturing existing customers better than ever before will be an essential part of your survival strategy
9. You’ll Need to Learn How to Negotiate
One thing I often see is that so many business owners don’t know how to negotiate. Sure they know how to discount their prices, but negotiating skills are not part of their skillset. During an economic downturn you’ll be asked often for discounts and ‘better deals’, if you lack strategic negotiating skills you’ll just end up doing more work, for less money.
Negotiating skills will ensure it’s win-win-win for you, your customer and your bank balance.
10. You’ll Need to Get Better at Dealing with Rejection
Rejection is something that all salespeople have to deal with. No-one likes being rejected, but the ones who succeed are the ones who don’t let it knock them down. I always teach my clients that each “no” brings you closer to your next “yes”, so embrace the rejection.
During a recession when budgets are tighter and money flows less freely there will be many more “no’s” than usual. You’ll need to not only take the “no’s” on the chin, but ensure you follow up more diligently than usual so you are “in the know” when they are ready and able to buy.
In conclusion, let me take this moment to remind you that above all it’s imperative that you are looking after yourself no matter how severe an economic downturn we may be facing.
Yes we will need to work harder, smarter and longer at times, but not at the sacrifice of our health, relationships, or soul. 🙏🏻
If you would like more support to ensure you are rock-solid on the sales skill department just give me a holler, as you may tell it’s a topic dear to my heart, and selling skills are ones that I love to share. Or alternatively you can join our Facebook Community which is full of support in growing your business to where you want it to be.
P.S. In case you’ve missed it, I’ve got lots of FREE training and resources over on my Sales Swag page that you might be interested in.