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How to Sell in a Recession – What You Need to Know

January 27, 2023

Learning how to sell in a recession is hard.

Unfortunately, when it comes to selling during a recession conventional wisdom is failing most salespeople. Much of the advice is hollow and not useful to achieving quota.  The advice runs the gamut, from stay calm, and work smarter not harder to prove your worth (I have no idea what that means), and anticipate longer sales cycles. How does anticipating longer sales cycles help you sell in any way?

Understanding this, and in an effort to help salespeople improve their sales skills and properly navigate a difficult economy, we’ve created a clear, concise and actionable eBook on how to sell in a recession.

It breaks down the approach into 5-key elements.

Shrink Your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)

Too often salespeople go too broad. They target everyone. They spray and pray. This ain’t gonna work.  I’m telling you. Buyers are too stingy, fearful of running out of cash or losing money. In our How to Sell in a Recession eBook, I break down how to change your ICP and target companies that could actually benefit from your product or service during a recession.  The key is to find customers who need your product or service to get through the recession.

Study Your ICP

This is a big miss with salespeople. They don’t know enough about their ICP’s business. They don’t understand what they sell, who they sell to, how they go to market, who their customers are, how the functional group you sell to is affected by a recession, how they operate and more. Salespeople know far too little about the companies they are pursuing, particularly during a recession. How to Sell in a Recession breaks down the key information required to help salespeople standout in a recession and why it helps them sell better.

A Unique Problem

Without solving a unique problem salespeople are dead in the water. During a recession, companies are squeezing every penny they have. They are holding on to cash and trying to ride it out. However, what savvy sales organizations recognize is that sometimes, not changing is MORE expensive and drains more cash than changing. Therefore, sales teams who identify a unique problem that is exacerbated by the recession, that if left unchecked will cost more money, will have far more success selling than those who are just pushing product.  How to Sell in a Recession walks you through how to uncover and position a unique problem you solve that your prospects can’t live with and need to solve, recession or no recession.

Stop Going Broad

If I hear a “sales influencer” say work harder, make more calls, or talk to everyone, one more time, I’m gonna throw up in my mouth.  Working harder, by itself, is not going to help you navigate a recession.  As a matter of fact, going broader, targeting more people and focusing on the top of the funnel ain’t gonna work. It’s just gonna bog you down and tire you out.

A recession like a head wind. You try and run faster into a head wind, you’re just going to get tired fast. They key to selling in a recession is the ability to be strategic and use your time wisely.  How to Sell in a Recession highlights where in the funnel and sales process to focus your time to maximize your close rates and get the most out of your efforts. There is a real sweet spot, if you know it.

Get Maniacal About Conversion Rates

There is no single KPI more important during a recession than close rates. In most cases, sales teams will have fewer opportunities during a recession than during an economic upturn.  Therefore, those organizations who maniacally focus on closing the deals they do have, will fare far better than those still playing a numbers game. How to Sell in a Recession outlines key steps and approaches as well as tools that help ensure the right information is captured, and opportunities are properly vetted to increase close rates and limit losing deals unnecessarily.

If you’re concerned you or your team are not prepared to sell in a recession, if you are looking for impactful tools and approaches to uncover problems your buyers can not ignore during a recession, How to Sell in a Recession will provide a step by step, well articulated approach to help you and your sales team navigate today’s selling world.

You’re buyers are just as anxious as you are, and the stuff that most folks are telling salespeople to do and what most sales orgs are focusing on, ain’t gonna cut it.

Do different! It’s time we change the way we sell.




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