Avoid Common Mistakes when Selling in a Tough Economy!

How can you drive new business in a downturned economy?  Those that are involved in sales should find the answer by avoiding some common mistakes and taking some proactive steps. There are a few common mistakes that if corrected can lead to a healthier pipeline and better opportunities.

  • Not spending enough time on sales prospecting, at a time when sales prospecting are needed more than ever.
  • Getting discouraged, this allows your competition to take business away from your company.
  • Not responding well when customers ask for additional concessions or not use a consultative sales process
  • Failing to communicate the value that your company can provide for a particular customer.
  • Missing the opportunity to wow existing customers.

By changing the behavior of the sales team on these 5 mistakes, you can find opportunities in spite of the challenging economy we’re all facing.  Here are some ways you can overcome objections:

Don’t be surprised if your current customers ask you to make additional concessions. The prevailing bottom-line climate has created an increasingly frequent request by customers to reduce costs. Salespeople are being pushed more and more by customers for concessions, especially on price. This new business culture makes sales negotiation skills a top priority, and requires you to be confident and skillful at both giving and getting concessions.  It is a 2 way street and customers need to understand that you are in business also which requires you to draw the line – set a target of negotiation well before you deliver pricing so you are prepared with the value proposition and why you can’t go any deeper.

Highlight the value that you can provide. You don’t always have to make a concession, even though times are tough. If you can provide value to a client in ways other than reducing the price, this is the time to do so and can be a “win win” solution for both of you. As an example, Equilibrium was recently asked by one of our clients to make a concession but offered instead to help them in some revenue-generating actions that will end up increasing both of our revenue streams, and negated the need to make a price concession.

This is the time to HUG your customers. What can you do to exceed your customer’s expectations? If you can provide them some additional service or benefit, at no extra charge, you will strengthen your relationship and set yourself apart.  Jack Mitchell wrote a great book that talks about a proven way to personalize sales and achieve results by just caring a little more than your competitor.  Remember the IT business is based primarily on relationship builiding – Hug your customers and they will Hug you back.

I hope that these few items will assist you as we continue to fight through an economy on the rebound.

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I have enjoyed working with Pete in the past. His “can do” approach to the business is refreshing and good for those around him. He is creative, willing to think out of the box, and does a good job pulling others into his projects to ensure he gathers opinions from resources across the teams he is supporting.

- Michael Humke – M.Humke Consulting LLC

We engaged with Equilibrium to help us create a professional sales process. He worked with us to develop a system for opportunity management and provided sales coaching that was instrumental in contributing to a 40% growth in revenue for 2013. Equilibrium continues to be the team that we turn to when we have sales questions.

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