Updated: Jul 14, 2020
Selling when times are good is easy, but can you sell when times are tough? If the answer is no, you're not selling right now, then there's only one question you need to be asking yourself: do you know your business?
This is my third article in my series on: Series on: Re-tooling your Sales Organization for Success During COVID-19.
The first question I dig into with all business owners I work with is: do you know your business? The reason is because shockingly most business owners don't. They may know the service or product they offer a customer, what those services or product include but rarely can they easily answer this simple question.
When creating a bullet-proof sales pitch that can withstand an economic downturn the first question I have all entrepreneurs answer is: what are the unique benefits of their offering?
This is an easy question because most business owners can rattle off at least 3 or 4 benefits that they think are unique to the customers they serve. If that's not something you can do, stop here, grab a paper and pen and get working.
The second, more difficult question I ask is: why don't customers value those benefits already? (if they did, you wouldn't have to sell them. Kudos to the lucky people who have magic offerings that sell themselves!)
This question usually takes a little more work because the default is the tendency to answer it from ones own viewpoint and not that of the customers. Hint, answer this question from the perspective of the customer.
The final and last question I ask is: for each of the unique benefits listed what is it about how the CUSTOMER views their world precludes them from appreciating those benefits as much as YOU think they either could or should?
This question is clincher. It's the toughest one to answer, because it requires the business owner to truly put themselves in their customers shoes and think about what that persons world looks like. What are the other invisible factors that you usually don't see that will contribute to how they make the decision on whether or not to buy your offering.
Once all three questions are answered and you've thoroughly dug into the psyche of your customer as well as your own, re-evaluating if you truly do or don't know your own business you're the first step in the right direction to start putting together a sales pitch that will enable you to sell to a customer who is likely not looking to buy right now. All because you're no longer operating from a place of 'all is well, everyone has money to spend' to 'the world is burning and business' need to invest in solutions that can help them now and will lead to larger revenue generation in the future.'
Next up in the Series on: Re-tooling your Sales Organization for Success During COVID-19 I'll cover how to look at your current accounts and determine what to double-down on and what to let cool until this is over.