In the current climate, businesses are having to be extremely careful about expenditure, which means many discretionary budgets appear to be on hold. So the question is; how do you sell when no-one is buying?
Upselling or cross-selling
The first option you have at your disposal is existing clients. I’m sure you’re regularly checking in on them anyway but now might be the right time for them to invest more. It’s crucial that what you sell is actually going to help them - now is not the time to annoy them by selling them stuff they don’t need. For example, if you provide managed IT services, your clients may need your help to manage their new remote working. Or if SaaS is your bag, your clients might be thinking about how to make their systems more efficient. The key is to put yourself in the shoes of your customer, understand what the recession is doing to their business and their mindset. There may well be services you rarely offer when the market is buoyant, which can greatly help your client when the market is on a downward curve. The main thing is to support your customers as much as you can - offer them extra useful products and services but keep them relevant to your client’s context and don’t be pushy… Even if you don’t sell now they’ll remember you for it and buy from you later.
Identifying prospects can be challenging at the best of times. At Noisy Little Monkey we employ the Inbound Methodology, to attract prospects (by creating useful content and sharing it on the website) and nurture them through their buying journey using contextual marketing automation. This means that a customer's experience is tailored to them and I don’t have to make lots of cold calls to people who don’t want to speak to me. (phew!) However, when times are tough, you might have to do a liiiiitle bit of outreach. Identify organisations who are still able to operate and reach out to a relevant contact within each one with a short and helpful LinkedIn message or a video. If you’re struggling to work out who is still flourishing in these uncertain times, here are some tips you can try:
- Check your local business news
- Spend some time on social media
- Speak to your network
- Use websites like Crunch Base
- Check out who’s visiting your website’s service pages
Play the long game
If your organisation is lucky enough to have a war chest, you can play the long game. Even when there’s not a recession, few of your prospects are going to spend their budget according to your timetable and sales targets and we’re heading into a pretty deep recession now. To survive and thrive you must adapt. Focus less on the products or services that you sell and more on what is important to your prospects at the moment. Here are some things you can try:
- Create pertinent content for right now, such as conference call ice breakers
- Attend virtual meet-ups and make some new friends and keep in touch with them
- Be more active on social media and engage with your leads
- Get your face out there - put out some video content
Yeah but do any of these work?
They do. You’ll hear lots of agencies like Noisy Little Monkey tell you that they’re unable to identify new prospects and win new business right now but I practice what I preach and using the ideas above have won significant new business in April 2020.
I encourage you to give it a go, so what have you got to lose? Stay safe out (in) there and please connect with me on LinkedIn if you fancy discussing this more or just want a friendly chat with someone.