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How to Sell in Turbulent Times

More recession sales tips.

Josh Gordon By Josh Gordon
08/13/2008 -11:15 AM

A terrific study was released earlier this year from DowJones advising that the key to success in selling in a recession comes not from looking at what is different for salespeople but rather at what is different at the companies they sell to. Researchers Jim Dickie & Barry Trailer studied corporate organization during the 2001 recession and concluded that the biggest change impacting sales was a shift in how client organizations bought things.

"Then the economy tanked, sales started to decrease for these firms, and the CFOs stepped in. They mandated that since revenues in were declining, expenses out would be decreasing as well. Enter the era of Buying by Committee: Decision-making power was removed from the hands of the individual and relegated instead to group consensus. A colleague of ours the Senior Vice President of a Fortune 500 firm saw his personal buying authority reduced from $2 million to $50,000."

When you sell media in recessionary times consider that your clients will have more decision makers involved in their sales. While this presents a new challenge for your clients, it is a great sales opportunity for you.  

On a call

This study makes a great case for advertising with content based media. When there many new people involved in a buying decision, often their influence does not neatly follow their job description or title. As result, outbound targeting becomes more difficult. It becomes harder to reach them with direct mail or targeted lists or visits.

Download and share this study with your client. Then sell the idea that the right content (in your media) will attract the right decision makers no matter what their official title or function is. 

If they are suddenly involved in buying submarine parts, safe to say, they will be motivated to read up on them. 

Download "Successful Selling in Turbulent Times -  Dealing with an Economic Slowdown" for free on the SellingPower Web site


Josh Gordon By Josh Gordon -- Josh Gordon is president of Smarter Media where he works with publishers to maximize their online and print revenue through training, consulting, and representation.

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