Debra Templar, Mentor

Our market is sluggish and nothing we do seems to be cutting through with customers. Help!

StartupSmart /

Your mental mindset plays a tremendous role in your success. While it is difficult to maintain a positive perspective during times like this, it is essential to keep focused on your main objective.

 

Associate with positive, like-minded people and avoid doom and gloomers like the plague!

 

Here are three things you can do today to grow your sales:

 

Get closer to your customers


Hopefully you have a great relationship with your existing customers.  Now is the time to strengthen that relationship.

 

Aggressively look for ways you can help them solve problems they may be experiencing in language they relate to.

 

Are you relating in a fashion they appreciate and understand? Or are you talking features, pricing and logic?

 

It’s more than that – it’s about benefits, benefits, benefits and how your products will make a difference to their customers, their staff and their business.

 

It’s about trust, confidence and a business relationship that will stand the test of time. You need to convey that while you’re the “new kid on the block” you intend being around for a very long time.

 

Two things happen when customers or future customers are disgruntled in tough times:

 

  1. Small improvements by suppliers – for instance, more helpful service or more flexibility on terms – are noticed with gratitude.
  2. On the other hand, what were once insignificant irritants become insults and reason for disaffection and abandonment. Poor suppliers will have a drastically reduced margin for error.

You won’t be able to mosey along as you have before (not that I am saying you are doing this, just beware) offering a mediocre product and service to an indifferent consumer.

 

The reality is that consumers are going to be far more selective, buy closer to need and look for genuine value.

 

Become more visible


Resist the temptation to crawl into a cave and hide until the economy recovers.

 

Your customers will forget about you and you may die. Now is the time to increase your profile, with marketing and promotions.

 

When you increase your visibility you may just give customers a reason to buy from you versus a competitor.

 

Consider your marketing. Are you marketing where your customers hang out? What presence, if any, do you have on social media?

 

Most businesses (including your competition) will be doing less. They’ll be cutting out marketing, they’ll stop promoting, they will discount deeply – and they’ll be scared to death to approach current customers for business for fear of alienating and losing their customers altogether.

 

As weaker suppliers fall over, they will gift their market share to their surviving competitors.

 

Fine-tune your sales skills


The skills you currently possess got you where you are today but they won’t get you much further.

 

During times of economic uncertainty, it is essential to refine your questioning skills and learn to ask some tough questions.

 

How has your customers’ buying process changed? What new challenges are they facing? What needs must your customers have satisfied now as opposed to later?

 

If you are not closing sales, it could be the economy. It could also be that your skills need sharpening.

 

Great sales skills will enable you to close sales even during difficult times. Conversely, not having the skills will allow potential sales to slip through your fingers.

If business is really slow, use some of that extra time for education.

 

These three tips all have one thing in common – they require action. You can’t allow fear and anxiety about the economy to paralyse you.

 

Instead focus on what you can accomplish and take steps to do so.

 

The one thing you can count on is that economy will fluctuate. Right now, it is considerably more challenging than it was a year ago.

 

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach your sales targets. Get smarter. Get focused. Get busy. Get ready to succeed in a sluggish economy.

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