7 Top Tips to Sell During a Recession

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Veronika Belova
by Veronika Belova

2 Min. Read

Yes, you can still make that sale during an economic downturn. Find here the top sales tips to get to know how.

Being in the field of sales can be difficult when the economy takes a turn for the worst. But there are ways you can work the economic tide to your advantage and continue finding quality prospects, retaining customers, gaining new ones, and making sales. Here are some of the top tips to sell during a recession to ensure your business and team remain healthy and successful.

And if you’re a sales manager looking to motivate your team in these uncertain times, we’re here to help. Read our latest article on how to keep yourself and your team in the mindset for success, no matter what’s happening in the economy.

1. Opportunity knocks

While the onset of a recession may initially cause panic, it’s actually a time of opportunity — if you know where to look.

During a recession, many customers may need help getting what they need or are on the hunt for new, more affordable, or better-suited products. This gives you a chance to gain new customers that may be unhappy with their current product or situation.

When the competition isn’t giving their clients what they need during a recession, these clients will go elsewhere, and it’s up to you to show them why they should be buying what you’re selling.

It’s all about your attitude: See a recession as a positive chance to snap up new opportunities and be on the lookout for them. When you feel the wave grab you, pop up. Don’t miss anything coming your way — make those deals!

2. Revisit your ICP

Sales tips number 2. Now that your headspace is ready to search for and take on new opportunities as they arise, it’s time to redefine your ICP: Ideal Customer Profile.

In a new economic landscape where companies may be looking to cut costs, understanding customers’ needs is even more important. What is the problem they’re trying to solve? Does your product still solve their issue? Is your product still relevant? Is the price still working? Do they still need the same products?

Addressing and reassessing these right away with a clear line of communication is an easy way to retain customers when things get tough. Your clients need to be taken care of even more during a recession, so it’s up to you to take the lead. Reach out to them, and continue to follow up for best results.

3. Provide solutions for your clients

More than ever, your clients need solutions. During a recession, things like budget cuts and layoffs make it even more challenging for your customers to do their jobs. Communicate with them about what they’re struggling with and how you can help.

Reassess your own products to make sure they’re still able to solve client issues in the current climate, and if not, revision may be needed.

And don’t automatically turn to raising your prices, which may push new and current clients out the door and straight to your competitor(s). If you can ride out this wave, you may have a customer for life, one that will refer you to others and bring it more business, especially once the economy takes a turn for the better.

4. Continue team building

Focusing on your own team can be just as important during a recession, where things like layoffs (or fear of layoffs) and a heavier workload can lower morale, cause anxiety, or create dissatisfaction.

Keeping your team busy, happy, and connected is more important than ever in times of distress. A team that continues to work well together will have an easier time dealing with and resolving customers’ problems, pain points, and issues.

This may mean keeping an open-door policy, ensuring your team knows you’re available for guidance and help at any time, or having weekly meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page.


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5. Increase productivity

Increasing productivity can be easier said than done, especially if your team is shrinking, which means more work for everyone else. But offering your team tools that help them save time, stay organized, increase output, and skip tedious extra work means your team can get a lot done, all while staying stress-free.

Things like a clear and concise CRM and access to proper data and analytics can all keep your team productive and happy. Consider investing in some of our favorite tools, including Surfe, which integrates with your CRM and offers a myriad of time-saving opportunities, and Notion and Linear, which you can use to create custom workflows to help employees work more efficiently.

6. Focus on KPIs

Key performance indicators are important for sales success. Salespeople can only do their best if they know what goals they need to work toward. Keep in mind that KPIs may need to be adjusted during a recession as things may have changed.

KPIs should be simple, realistic, and easily measurable, focusing on things like sales numbers, customer satisfaction, revenue growth, and profit margin. They should align with the general business principles and strategy, and there should be frequent meetings and check-ins to ensure everyone is on the right track in meeting their goals, closing those deals, and keeping customer satisfaction and revenue high.

7. Making the sale

During a recession, you may need to do a little extra work to make that sale. It may require more marketing, changing up your message, working on your listening skills, or digging into your creativity to keep a current client happy, find the right new prospect, or pull in a client from a competitor.

It may mean doing all this with a smaller budget or feeling added pressure to prove your worth. But you’ve got this! When in doubt, ride it out, listen, learn, and sell, and one day, the economy will take a turn for the better once again. For information and guidance on how to increase sales during a recession, download our handy ebook.