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Recession Selling

Selling RVs in tough times requires a tough attitude. Half the battle is in your head and the other half is on the streets. Customers will object to price—that’s what they do. First, they test your price; next, they test your resolve. Being prepared to sell in tough times is the mental game of success. Positive thoughts provide the mental fuel you need for your journey. Positive behavior results from these positive thoughts. These tips will help you move in a positive direction in tough times:

Selling RVs in tough times requires a tough attitude. Half the battle is in your head and the other half is on the streets. Customers will object to price—that’s what they do. First, they test your price; next, they test your resolve. Being prepared to sell in tough times is the mental game of success. Positive thoughts provide the mental fuel you need for your journey. Positive behavior results from these positive thoughts. These tips will help you move in a positive direction in tough times:

Be a positive information source
You may be the only positive salesperson the customer meets with this week. Remember, misery loves company. When the economy weakens and things slow down, the “complainers” work overtime. Visualize a room full of negative people, sitting around a conference table regurgitating the latest negative news and feeling worse for the experience. Contrast this to the salesperson that throws the customer a lifeline of hope and optimism. From whom would you rather buy? Tell the customer about all the positive things that your dealership is doing to thrive in tough times.

Increase your penetration
If your currently closing 20% of your prospects, that means 80% of your prospects are not buying from you. This is an incredible opportunity. Expand your calling efforts to include those prospects where you’re not getting the business. You’ll never know when they’re going to be ready to buy. Now’s as good a time as any.

Become an efficiency expert
Your prospects are probably nervous about buying an RV because of layoffs and belt tightening. You can be the call they want to take: Have all the information they need to easily purchase your RV and remove all barriers to a sale by showing them how easy it is to purchase an RV now — since you should be the answer to their problems. Be the solution, and you’ll make your sales.

Try to raise the ceiling instead of hitting the bottom
When the market turns bad, a lot of dealerships immediately drop their prices, and make deals that leave everyone feeling cheapened — including the prospect! Why not raise the ceiling instead? Give your prospect more than you ever have before — an enthusiastic greeting, an exciting presentation, a no-stress close. Make them feel great about buying an RV from you today!

Let’s take care of ourselves out there
If ice hockey practice, Pilates or cooking classes keeps you happy and sane, do not stop doing those things now because you are stressed about work. As author Julia Cameron says, “Treating yourself like a precious object will make you strong.” Just like athletes, salespeople are more vulnerable to injury when they are tired and beaten up.

Protect your flanks
It’s not enough to try and get new customers, you also need to make sure your existing customers are taken care of. So if you’re not paying attention and aren’t meeting your customers’ needs, you’ll be the weak gazelle that gets separated from the herd and taken down by the lions. Repeat and referral business is still your most precious commodity. Give them a call during these slow times and continue building that strong relationship.

Shut up and sell
Don’t join the whining parade of salespeople who do nothing but complain about how bad it is. Don’t listen to the opinions of salespeople who want to take you down a peg. Sales heroes come out of down markets, true professionals emerge from adversity, and the strong get stronger in tough times. Customers always appreciate salespeople and dealerships that help them solve their current purchasing problems. Now let’s go get some business.

The market’s down. It doesn’t mean you have to be. Just adhere to these 7 laws, and you’ll become a model of sales professionalism.

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About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a freelance writer and podcaster who has been writing about the RV industry since 2000. He is the former editor of RV Daily Report and can be reached at greg@rvdailyreport.com.

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