Serving your customers should always be at the heart of your selling and marketing activities. But while businesses have radically changed in the last few weeks, it may not be all systems go for your customers.
Before you hit the sell button, adapting your sales strategy by understand the evolving consumption patterns in a downturn and how to serve your customers when they are faced with stricter priorities on their wallets and reductions in their spending.
It could make all the difference to the survival of your business.
What category do your customers fall into?
Stop the car – These customers reduce all spending by eliminating, postponing, cancelling or substituting purchases.
20m/hr zone – These customers are optimist about the longer term but are conservative about the near-term spend and their ability to cover costs in the short term – they will economise.
Cruise control – comfortably have enough money in the bank and can sustain a volatile market. If they are a B2B business they aren’t needing to raise any capital and are serving customer segments that have equally haven’t been as affected
100m/hr in a 60m/hr zone – Carries on per usual and hopes not to get a speeding fine. It’s likely this segment will extend larger purchases for safer times.
Where does your product/service fit within your customer’s wallet?
No doubt you’ll know how price-sensitive your customers are. But how about thinking about adding additional value to what you’re selling? You could use this opportunity to reposition your offering. Or you might be willing to engage in a price reduction exercise to gain traction or to boost growth. Where does your product or service fall within your customer’s strategic / volume decision matrix.
Adapted from HBR article, How to Market in a Downturn
You typically have four sales approaches:
Once you’ve decided your plan of attack, make sure you show empathy to your customer’s current situation. Check your marketing approach is well-positioned and captures market sentiment.
Then it’s back to the drawing board of analysing, measuring tracking, testing, tweaking and repeating until you find a new normal.
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