Times are tough but sales are still taking place and the economy is still moving forward, albeit slowly. The best advice to close a deal and make a sale during tough economic times is to prepare rather than panic. Tempting as it may be to pressure your prospective buyers, it is in your best interest to tweak your normal sales gameplan rather than approach it from a position of weakness or desperation.
While you do not want to change what you do, you do need to focus more closely on responding to clients who have slashed budgets, have minimal dollars to spend, are seeking cost savings, and are scared to spend. Approaching a sale and moving through closing with these factors in mind, and being prepared to address them, makes a big difference.
For example, researching your clients should include checking out background information as well as looking more closely at how they are holding up in this economy. Your closing approach may need to be tailored to help their survival if they are teetering on the brink. The benefits of your product or service may need to address staying afloat, which includes evaluating the cost-effectiveness of your offer more thoroughly if they are being very cautious about their spending.
The uneasiness felt by most people will require you to close most deals, especially major ones, in person rather than through electronic communications or even phone calls. Tough economic times raise fears and emotions not otherwise representative of business as usual. With that in mind, it is important to be able to make eye contact and provide personal reassurance.
Are you sure you are talking to someone with a hand on the purse strings? Many companies have limited their monetary decision making to a few people; so you need to know who has that decision-making power before you start closing a deal with someone who can’t give you final approval.
While it’s always ill-advised to be focused solely on your business rather than on the needs of your customers, now more than ever you want to find the optimal balance between what you have to offer and what they need. Whether you are dealing with a business or an individual, they need to feel that they are in confident hands and working with a leader in the industry. Fewer people today are willing to take risks on relatively unknown entities without a track record. Therefore, you need to make a point of letting customers know what you have done, even if it is a tight niche that you fulfill. The other side of the equation means making sure you are fulfilling a customer need. In addition, any complimentary services or extras that are of slight cost to you but that can add value to the sale are excellent incentives to nudge prospects across the finish line.