By Ryan Taft
I need to confess something to you. I am having flashbacks of 2005…economically speaking that is. If you were in sales in 2005, things were booming. Consumer confidence was high (maybe too high). People were buying homes, cars and more without a thought.
You might be thinking, “Ryan, that’s a good thing, right?”
Yes, and no. Let me explain.
From the sales person perspective it was both good and bad. Human nature is to take the path of the least resistance. When the market is kind, the majority of sales people relax their behaviors. In other words, they stop doing the fundamentals. And then when the market dips, I get training requests to help teams “Get back to basics.”
Here’s my question, what if you didn’t leave the basics to begin with? What if you became market blind? What if you didn’t look at your results and instead stayed focused on your behaviors?
You know what would happen? You would become what I call “Market Proof”.
“Don’t get prepared…stay prepared.” – Joyce Meyer
So what “basics” should you continue to work on despite a good market? I’m glad you asked. Here are just a few:
Regardless of what type of sales environment you operate in (B2C, B2B) prospecting is your way to write your own paycheck. Stay sharp on developing strong leads.
2. Uncovering Personal Urgency
In a good market sales people tend to focus solely on circumstantial urgency. In other words we tend to drive sales with fear of loss, interest rates climbing, incentives and deals, etc.
It’s highly driven by the lack of supply and the high demand of the market. Circumstantial urgency isn’t very effective in a down market.
Personal urgency, on the other hand, is effective in both types of markets. Personal urgency focuses on the reason(s) why someone needs your product or service. It’s where the true emotion of a purchase is found. Here are a few examples of each to illustrate the difference:
|Product or Service||Circumstantial Urgency||Personal Urgency|
|Car||We’re having a sale!||Customer’s wife’s car broke down|
|New Home||Last one story available||Customer is having a baby and lost their home office. They need a bigger place.|
|Mattress||Order in the next 90 minutes and get $150 off||Customer is having back issues and has been sleeping in spare bedroom rather than master bedroom.|
3. Asking for the Sale
In my widest dreams, I wouldn’t even have to put this one on the list, but alas, I do. In the last 20 years of working in sales and with sales people, I have noticed that we tend to stop asking for the sale in a good market.
We start using what I call, “presentation-enders”. We simply stop asking a direct closing question and ask things like, “So…do you have any more questions?” (To see if you are using presentation-enders, read my earlier blog by clicking here.)
By the time the market dips, the sales person who has adopted presentation-enders instead of continuing to ask for the sale, is so out of practice that this often is the nail in the coffin to their sales career. I know that’s harsh…and it’s true.
4. Following Up
Another “No duh” but following up could be the difference between thriving in a sales position in a downturn vs. working a desk job for a flat fee. No disrespect to desk workers, but if you are a true sales person you know that would be hell on earth for you!
Don’t let a good market keep you from following up. More of a practice in diligence than skill, follow-up is often the first thing to go out the window in a good market. Don’t let that happen to you.
“But Ryan, it’s so time consuming.” Well, so is looking for a job…in a down market.
So here’s the deal. I am not going for doom and gloom here. I am actually thinking of the opposite. I want you to be market proof! I know there are several other skills you need to keep alive in a good market. Feel free to share them!
If you want to learn how to become market proof and not market blind, then you need to attend our next Closing 2.0 Academy.Closing 2.0 Academy is an intensive learning cycle where sales professionals MASTER the modern art of closing the sale in today’s market with today’s buyer. For 3 days of the 12-week program you will head to Dallas, TX for hands on training with our own Jeff Shore!