|Sell In A Recession (continued)
in a recession will be vital. Sales and Service training could
well be the key.
I have worked with many clients who have weathered recessions, grown their businesses through recessions and
even set up and started successful businesses in recessions. Now is not the time to be panicking. Now is the time
to be checking your sales activities, sharpening your sales training pencils and applying solid sales principles. Just
an FYI, every single person in the dealership is a salesperson.
One of the problems with all of this talk about recession is that once people believe there is going to be a
recession they start to feel negative about their business prospects. The nature of belief is that people only tend
to see what they believe rather than believing what they see. Once you believe that there is going to be a
recession you tend to only notice articles, comments and statistics that support your beliefs.
What’s more, your negative beliefs quickly affect your outlook and the way that you feel about your business
prospects. Think about it for a second…
If you thought 2008 was going to be a great year for business, your best year yet; how would you feel?
Conversely, if you thought 2008 was going to see a major recession and that it was going to hit you and your
business hard; how would you feel?
And remember, nothing’s changed here other than your belief. Having a positive and supportive belief structure is
essential if you want to succeed in any market but it is vitally essential if you want to keep on selling in a tough one.
Having a winning belief system does not mean that you need to be deluded however! In the middle of the darkest
recession you don’t want to have your eyes shut! But you do need to realize that in a recession people want to
work with the best suppliers. Suppliers that they can rely on. Suppliers that support them. Suppliers who are going
to be around tomorrow. And if your competitors struggle, that means more sales and more business for you.
proactive. You need to do more marketing and more selling. You need to attend more
events and do more networking. You need to do more promotion and more canvassing.
Bottom line, you need to increase your sales activities, maybe dramatically.
In a recession many companies cut their sales activities. They figure, “If we’re not going
to sell anything, what’s the point?” Many individual salespeople do this too. Perhaps it’s
not a conscious choice but it’s what they do.
not much business out there, so you feel negative. That in turn affects your activity and your activity destroys your
Even if there is not as much business out there, then you need to be more active, more focused and more
targeted. If your competitors are easing off a little, now is the time to up the anti and grab your share of the
market. Even if sales do slow down temporarily, you will be in poll position when things pick up again.
Talk about killing your own market! If you see less business then you need to do more sales and marketing, not
less. That’s common sense.
If a janitor needs a mop, a workman needs a spade and a farmer needs a field;
a boxer needs a defense and killer left hook, and a Chef needs a recipe; what do
salespeople need? The answer’s obvious – it’s sales skills and overcoming
objections during the sales process.
Unfortunately, most salespeople do not spend enough time working on improving
their sales skills and techniques. Sales training and development is not something
that many salespeople spend their time on out of choice. Perhaps they can get
away with this in a booming market when sales are easy. Perhaps not. But things
will always change if the market tightens. Sales success will go to the salesperson
who really understands why people buy and can help people make the right
business decisions. Salespeople of this caliber stand to benefit from possible
changes ahead because there will be more business for them as their competition
falls by the wayside.
Sales will not go to the journeyman salesperson, the mediocre wannabee or the 9-5 order taker. Salespeople like
these could well be in for a rough time.
When did you last read a sales training book on selling? How many sales training audios have you listened to over
the last month? How many sales training seminars have you attended in the last year? For 80% of salespeople,
the answer is zero.
If you’re in the 20% who have invested in yourself… Great, you’re on track. Keep the study up and make sure you
stay ahead of the game.
If you’re in the 80% who haven’t… Don’t panic! You still have time. Start now by putting together your own sales
training and development plan to sharpen your sales skills and hone your sales techniques. Salespeople who can
sell in any market will always be in demand. Effort now will reward you whatever this year brings.
save money by tinkering with their business offerings. They will try and eek extra profits
out of their clients by cutting the bells and whistles from their offerings. This is not a
good idea. A Swiss cow with no bells is just a cow and no-one would send postcards of
have ever had, from you or from any of your competitors. You need to be going the
extra mile. If a recession bites, many companies will try and discount to survive. They
probably won’t (survive), but you don’t want your clients going to them as they try to
going anywhere else.
Spend time with your clients. Build stronger relationships with your clients. Make sure you truly understand them,
their concerns and their businesses. Find ways to help them and add value over and above what they could have
alright and they don’t need to. They’re making sales right?
Most salespeople have all sorts of opportunities which they squander every day and every month because there
are seemingly easier things that they can be doing. This is particularly true in an industry or a company where
leads have been relatively easy to come by, where sales targets are relatively soft (I could tell you which industries
but I’m not going to) or where salespeople are overpaid so don’t crave the business (again, I’ll keep this to
In a tough market you must leverage all of your efforts. This is basic sales 101 and should be stuff that you do
every day anyway… Here are just a few ideas.
clients often say no. Learn how to ask for a referral properly and then build asking for a referral into your
sales process and ask for one every time.
Up-sell and cross-sell. Whether though laziness, lack of knowledge or lack of ability many salespeople sit on
accounts where there is so much more business than they are currently leveraging. Extending your
business with existing clients will not only make you more money, it will also strengthen your relationships
with and value to them and their businesses.
Contact dormant accounts. Most companies have hundreds if not thousands of “dormant” accounts. There
may be multiple reasons for this from changing business practices to fall-outs with the client. Dormant
clients may well be redeemable and may have been “lost” purely because someone forgot to ring them or a
salesperson moved on. Get in touch with them! I am certain that I have sent something to you in regards to
Fixed Training, but as usual you think there is a gimmick and there is no way possible that someone will
travel to your site and perform an evaluation an n/c. That’s ok keep thinking there is a magic pill and all
your concerns will all go away.
Follow up on all leads. I recently contacted 5 health insurance companies over the web. Only one replied.
You should not be burning leads like this in any market. Follow up on all leads professionally using a proven
sales system like the ones I teach in my sales training seminars and programmes and you will close more
business. New clients are essential for any business in any market.
|Jim Bernardi has held such positions as; Dealer,
General Manager, Director of Operations, District
Operations Manager, Parts & Service Director, Service
Director, Service Manager, Service Advisor and is
President /CEO AutoPro Training Solutions, a National
Fixed Operations Training Company which guarantees
increased GP or their training fee is free.
|Over the past several months there has been a lot of talk of
recession. Wherever you look and whatever you read, we see in
the headlines our New President Promising Change; as well as the
American subprime crisis including the big 3 auto makers crying
for assistance. Talk of a recession seems to be bombarding us
from every possible media.
|SUPERIOR DEALER SOLUTIONSsm