How to Sell in Tough Times

By Bob Morrell on June 22, 2017

What’s stronger? Fear of your business not growing, or fear of losing customers?

The answer is that it is always the fear of loss that is stronger. Growth is dependent on numerous factors, not least a bit of luck. Once a business senses it is starting to lose what it has, then it can make very drastic, and often wrong, decisions because it makes them in an extreme situation. Fear of loss is best dealt with by planning in advance – planning NOT to lose customers before times get tough.

This is aimed at Operations Directors, CEOs, and Sales Directors planning for the next year or so.

So many businesses market their products or services and generate new business, and yet do nothing to keep that business and nurture it for the future. This is costly, and in a market with lower demand they will struggle to maintain conversions. So how does the conversation need to change?

Every business must seek to establish some kind of deeper relationships with their customers. The habitual, transactional conversations are just not capable of delivering any customer loyalty.

Some businesses believe that the ‘brand’ is the dis-embodied notion that will reward them with loyalty – yet fail to invest in the individuals who engage with customers to deliver on that ‘brand promise’. It’s easy to see where they fall down.

So, a name is never quite enough to be the guarantor of retention. Let’s look at an example:

Imagine there’s a shop and it’s selling fridges. The customer comes in, you talk about fridges and sell one – it’s not that complex. 3 small changes will make a difference – 1) making the point that you’re an expert on fridges so they or anyone they know can come to you for fridge related advice, 2) making it clear that as and when they replace – upgrade (say 3-5 years away) how easy it is to do that with you and c) how you can also sell additional products that complement the fridge. It’s so simple and yet we don’t bother – we don’t think it’s worth making the point – when it certainly is.

Now translate that to what you do – what are the opportunities missed, every day that could increase conversion and retention for the future? What are the seemingly mundane situations you can change that will increase that vital engagement and create future business?

The good news is that to make this work is a pretty easy fix.