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How Sales Must Shift In This Uncertain Economy

Friday, 6 February 2009

Until now, you’ve had a rather specific definition of sales: uncover need, define how a solution fits, and place a product where there is a match between your product and the need. But given that the ‘need’ is no longer the buyer’s focus, you can use this time to help them see the entire elephant – the full range of issues and elements they need to address in an uncertain economy – and decide how to move forward while waiting for the economy to turn itself around.

In this environment of mystery, change, and transition, a product sale – especially one that follows your accustomed time/relationship trajectory – is unlikely. Business as usual no longer exists.

As the representatives of your company, you are uniquely positioned to gain access to buyers. Indeed, short of a new marketing initiative, you are the only representative of your company to be in a position to lead customers through this difficult time.

Use this time to develop a stronger bond with your clients – one that will not only help you close more sales, but will solidify your relationship with them, exhibit your ability to serve and be trustworthy and smart, and offer them the tools to make sense of their environment (outside of the sales focus). Not only will you differentiate yourself from the competition, but you’ll get sales that you wouldn’t have gotten, and put yourself on the buyer’s decision team for the future.

It’s time to help buyers take a good look at the elephant in front of them. It’s time to change the game, add new skills and change your job description from ‘seller’ to ‘decision strategist’. What the buyer needs is not your product or a new solution.

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