Joanne Black, founder of consultancy No More Cold Calling, suggests these strategies to recession-proof your sales.
1. Broaden your view.
Gather a personal team of advisers, both inside and outside the industry, to get ideas, feedback and unbiased views. “Often, we surround ourselves with people who agree with us, or are like-minded; we need to broaden beyond that group.”
2. Stay connected.
Attend at least one networking event a week. It doesn’t have to be connected with your own industry. “We need to get outside of our business and meet and connect with others who may connect you further.” Find out what events your clients attend and ask if you can go with them, as another way to expand your circle.
3. Prioritize wisely.
The first task of the day should be whatever is “closest to the cash.” Prioritize high payoff activities.
4. Be the expert.
When times are tough, people push back on price and are more careful about what they’re spending. They hire experts because they can’t afford to make mistakes. Position yourself as the expert within a specific product line or market niche.
5. Prove ROI.
Make a business case, by connecting the dots between the client’s problem and solution, and monetize the resulting savings and results.
6. Dazzle your existing base.
This is the best source of new business and most treasured referral source. Schedule a debriefing with clients following an event, ask what went well and what didn’t, and what else is coming up.
7. Commit to earning referrals.
“It shortens the sales process, aces out competition and will gain you a new client over 50% of the time.”