Today I was thinking about the possibility of an upcoming recession, and it promoted to me share a video on my page about how to recession-proof your business by getting more sales.
Now, you may, or you may not agree with this and that’s perfectly cool. But I believe. that there’s a very high likelihood that we could be facing a recession. And the reason that I think that, and off course I am not a qualified financial advisor, but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen in history where interest rates around the world have all gone up at the same time, where the property market has reached a high peak, if not over peaked.
The stock markets in a little bit of strife, the crypto markets in a little bit of strife, precious metals aren’t going anywhere, during all this volatility that we’re seeing, we have a massive staff shortage crisis, and we also have what’s called the great resignation where staff are just disappearing.
So, it makes things very challenging for small business owners to stay ahead of the game.
What happens normally through a recession is that business owners retract their business instead of growing their business. They make so many things out of fear, they’re in fright and flight mode. Then they start making decision based on what they think everyone else around them is doing.
What tends to happen first, is they stop spending in specific areas that are vital for the growth, instead of doubling down in these areas for growth.
My experience in tough times led me to this seven-step strategy that I think that if you can employ now into your business regardless of if there is a market correction.
Step #1: INVEST IN SALES TRAINING.
Did you know most businesses do not allocate money to sales training or coaching for themselves, management, or sales teams? Crazy right, especially as we all know, no sales = no business.
This is the area you need to seriously double down on. Why? As lead flow slows, your conversion rates MUST improve.
Imagine getting better with your skills and leadership. What impact would this have on your bottom line and sales figures?
According to a google search on “sales cost for new leads vs existing”, Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%.
So, if you increased your communications and sales skills to convert more enquiries into paid customers, then learned how to really build a sold ongoing working relationship, that results in repeat business, what would your bottom line look like moving forward?
Step #2. DEVELOP REFERRAL PROGRAMS
Did you know B2B companies who work on referral business have a 70% higher conversion rate, than a cold generated lead.
They also have a 69% faster closing time on sales and are four times more likely to buy, plus they have a 37% higher retention rate.
Why? Because 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
If you take into consideration how much more business you get from a repeat customer, and then add on the serious value of a referral client, can you see how the power in shifting your business model away from the traditional “smash and grab” direct marketing approach, to relationship selling seriously pays off.
It’s important to keep marketing, BUT it’s how strategic you get with your marketing that will make a difference, so work on a referral program straight away.
Step #3: ESTABLISH STRATGIC PARTNERSHIPS
We all know consumers are more inclined to do more business with people they know like and trust.
BUT… spending 10’s of thousands of dollars finding these customers is a massive waste of time, money and resources.
When faced with the possibilities of a likely recession, we need to think “What is the best marketing practice for my business?”
That is where Strategic Partners comes into play.
Look for people who service the same clients as you. Work out if they have the same business values and integrity as you, and then work out how to advocate for each other and collaborate when servicing the same clients.
This is bar far the best form of marketing you will find. You will more with your ideal clients and spend less time and resources on the tyre kickers.
Your sales conversion rates will be higher and so will your client retention rate if you over deliver with your value.
Work smarter, not harder.
Step #4 SALES SYSTEMS
This is the time to refine and produce your systems. By systems I am referring to:
Manuals: Get your manuals in order. Have everything documented for simple duplication and easy onboarding. Have something your sales team can refer to any time that will help them grow in their roles.
Funnels: This is imperative. Your funnel system for after sales support needs to be in place as well as follow-up and nurturing old leads that have come to you.
When you have this set up, you can provide plenty of great support easily to your data base that adds value to their lives. Do NOT use this to sell, use this to nurture and develop.
CRM: Most CRMs are NOT used properly. You have a fantastic asset to help discover all the stats you need as a business owner. If your CRM is just a database, invest in one that give you a complete compressive business overview and make sure it is used properly.
Automation: This is the key to not only stay in touch with your current and potential clients, but to upsell with specials, incentives, and anything else you have. Most importantly, you can keep educating your clients with videos and blogs to help them in their businesses with a click of a button.
Step #5: EMPOWERING STAFF
What we tend to see in most cases is staff threatened by “losing their jobs”. Wages cut, commissions halved or abolished to “Survive”. They are operating from fear, not empowerment.
Ask yourself, would you like to work in these conditions? No way!
So, in times like these, you have the opportunity to look at your staff, re-assess if they are the right fit and make the appropriate changes.
We want to make our staff feel valued, appreciated, and absolutely part of the future. When dark times loom, image making the work place a place where they can thrive and prosper?
So, instead of taking away from your staff, now is the time for absolute buy in!
Think always of win:win:win.
Treat your staff like they are co-owners, encourage them to grow and evolve as people. Invest in that with them and reward them fairly for the business they bring in.
You want them to WANT to only work for you and most importantly LOVE working for you!
When they are operating from internal gratitude, they will naturally sell more.
Absolutely offer more incentives and bonuses to make their jobs better, more exciting instead of taking away from them and making their jobs harder.
STEP #6 – MINDSET
This goes without saying. Yet surprisingly most people do not have the tools they require to keep their mindset in the right place. You must have a growth mindset.
First thing to do is get yourself a business coach. Somebody who can keep you on track, accountable and can help measure your action v results.
Secondly, tap into 20 minutes a day of PD podcasts or programs. There is so much stuff on Spotify you can subscribe to and YouTube for that extra motivation.
Thirdly act as if everything is ok now and will be in the future fine, despite your current circumstances. If you operate from a 100% possible 100% of the time attitude, you will keep finding a way to navigate forward in your business.
STEP #7: REDUCE COSTS
There is a lot of wasted funds spent yearly in business.
Now is the best time for you to do a fresh business budget so you know where all wasted funds are being spent. It makes sense to rejig all that so that you are on top of your cashflow.
Now is also the best time to look at where you can streamline and save on IT and finance systems. Simple things like bank fees, mobile phones, electricity suppliers, insurances etc.
Look at ways you can reduce expenses in these areas but still have the appropriate cover you need.
$1 saved, is $2 earned. When closing more sales and reducing expenses, your profits go up.
These simple tips that I’ve just given you today will be gold in helping you do more in your business with more sales through the next six months.
If you found value in this and would like to connect with me, you can book a free 15-minute strategy call directly into my diary. From there, I can sit down, and we can look at what’s going on in your business right now. I will help you uncover three areas where you’re struggling with sales and happy to give you some suggestions on what you can do to improve that.
Click on the link below to book a time!
Here’s to your success!