How To Sell During Tough Times

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Difficult times (like those we’re currently experiencing) create tough situations for every industry. In some way or another, we’re all trying to jump over the hurdles being thrown our way with each new day of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sales in particular is a tricky category to be a part of right now. How does one sell a product when customers are facing a foggy and uncertain future? How does one sell a product when selling in current conditions could be viewed as insensitive?

Below are a few suggestions on how to sell in tough times without being too sales-y: 

  • Before anything else, be sure to connect with your client. Address the situation at hand and let your client know that you're there for them. Give your clients the support they need in tough times — it’ll make a lasting impression on them to know that you reached out and were there to help. Consider writing a handwritten letter or meeting with your client  (virtually of course).
  • Show off your optimism (even if it’s a little difficult right now). Your attitude towards the situation matters … and positivity is contagious. In challenging times, everyone is looking for a steady hand to hold — be that person for your client and serve them with the security and confidence that they need right now.
  • Think of the end goal and work backwards. This isn’t a new sales concept, but sometimes when things are difficult we forget to consider the basics — take this as a little sales refresher:
    • What is your client trying to accomplish?
    • What is their budget?
    • How will items be packaged?
    • What items are appropriate, available, and of interest to your client?
    • Is a theme needed?
    • How will this order be fulfilled? Which supplier(s) can meet the needs of this order?
  • Get creative. 
    • Sell a message, not a product. What do you want these products to say/convey to the end customer?
    • Be proactive. Anticipate the problems that your customer is facing and provide solutions without even having to ask a single question.

The challenges that you’re facing today aren’t here to stay, but how you respond in adverse times will be remembered; choose to respond with positivity and creativity. As Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, once said, “It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.” In other words, you might not be able to control what’s going on right now, but you can control how you react.