Are you losing sleep at the thought of having to change careers due to the recession? No wait! This isn’t “officially” a recession, but rather a soft economy. Regardless of what you call it, many economists are forecasting more to come. This means that if you haven’t already experienced a slump, consider yourself fortunate. But eventually, you too will feel the impact.
The worse thing you can do is assume that since things are looking good right now, you don’t need to proactively plan for a potentially bleak future. Many businesses and consumers fear anything that resembles a recession. This type of economy is characterized by a decrease in spending, tighter budgets, and downsizing. You can either look at these times as life-shattering or see them as an opportunity to give your business and sales a revenue-boosting makeover.
If you incorporate and execute the following no-cost techniques, you will increase your bottom line and take your business straight to the top. And on your way up, the competition will be forced to ask why you are thriving and they are barely breaking even.
Show Compassion / Be Empathetic: This may come as a big shock, but your prospects and clients aren’t interested in you. Especially in times such as these. They are only interested in themselves. If you want to peak their interest, you must appeal to them emotionally. Pain, pleasure, and fear – emotions – make people buy. Asking questions that evoke these feelings allows you to respond with empathy. When you do this, you are fostering a relationship, one which will exist long after the purchase and sale is complete.
Cash in on Repeat Business: Past clients are more likely to do business with you than new prospects. In a slow market, those would-be clients are holding tight to their money and don’t want to gamble on a new comer. You’ve already proven yourself to your past clients – you don’t have to sell them on your services. Let this work to your advantage. Contact your old customers to find out how things are going. This not only makes them feel appreciated, but it also opens the door for new projects. This simple gesture offers reassurance that you desire to do business with them again.
Ask for Referrals: Even if you’ve just closed the biggest deal of the year – don’t stop there! Ask that person who just entrusted you if they know of anyone else who could benefit from the product or service they just purchased. This is the most over looked strategy in any economy, but can be more detrimental when leads are already few and far between. The easiest way to get business is to ask for it. You can’t afford not to practice this lucrative business building strategy and it won’t reduce your marketing budget by one red cent.
Work Your Existing Leads: It may be hard to believe that the prospect who said no the first two times would’ve said yes on the fourth or fifth try. How would you know when you typically write them off after the second call? Be diligent and persistent when following up on leads, but be careful not to come across as desperate or pushy. The easiest way to make these leads active again is to send a handwritten note enclosed in a card or by simply making a phone call. Ask if they still have a need and what it would take to close the deal. You’ll be surprised at how quickly these once dormant leads can turn into profit generating accounts.
Exceed Expectations: One of the golden rules in sales is to under promise and over deliver. It’s critical in a recession to provide your clients with a level of service that no one else can duplicate. You want to do more than just please them. You should give them more than what they’ve paid for at every opportunity. They didn’t have to do business with you – they chose to. A stellar customer experience combined with a great product or service lays the foundation for loyalty and keeps your clients coming back for more.
About the Author:
Donna L. Johnson is a public speaker and business coach specializing in customer service and retention for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Are you ready to help your team sell more products or services? Visit www.DonnaSpeaks.com or email info@DonnaLJohnson.com for more information.