The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 2 months ago

Selling When Budgets are Tight


There is always the possibility of a recession or financial downturn. During such times, companies are inclined to tighten their budgets, which may make salespeople like you nervous, to say the least. How do you sell effectively when your customers are focused on minimizing unnecessary costs and reevaluating their current budget line items? Get customer focused. People buy for three reasons: your solution will increase revenue, decrease cost, or mitigate risks. In this episode, John Kaplan shares how to align your solution with big business issues that will drive urgency from buyers.

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Make sure that you attach yourself to mission critical problems. Don't be thrown on a pile of Nice. To have gained power by being a must have for your customers. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your teams sell more faster. We'll feature sales leaders sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team aforce management, a leader in B two B sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Club Miller. John Caplan joins me today. Hi John, Hi Rachel, how are you? I'm good. I hope you're doing well as well. Thank you. So today, Um John, we're going to get a little serious. We're gonna talk about, uh, these financial headwinds that seem to be on the way, the looming potential of a recession,... people and companies tightening budgets and maybe making us as salespeople, a little nervous. These are some conversations we've been having lately. Yeah, I mean, Rachel, I think this topic is extremely confusing right now because it's so hard to understand the news. Um, we see inflation rising, interest rates rising, gas prices rising, and yet you know, I don't know when the last time you went to a restaurant that all the restaurants are packed and you know, but at the same time the service levels are struggling in these restaurants. And and I can't even get on an airplane anymore with any confidence that I'm going to arrive on time or just flat out have a flight cancelation. So there's just a lot of confusing messages going on about the economy. And when I talked to business leaders, everybody's talking about this looming dark economic... and it reminds me, Rachel, of the show the game of thrones, and you know how all the characters in that show we're always talking about how winter was coming and which meant, you know, you know winter is going to bring out all those nasty white walkers or, you know, the people that were basically the walking dead. And and you know, when I'm talking to sellers right now, there's a concern about deal delays, more approvals in the decision process than normal, more conversations about prioritization and pricing pressures, and you know, things that are just really not fun and not too easy right now. So we know that these are kind of, you know, potentially challenging time. So, Rachel, I think you picked a really, really good topic. Let's focus on what we might be able to do about it. Yeah, it's quite a current state that we're in right now.

So, but now is the time to the best salespeople get get busy, as you said before, John. So today let's talk about key reasons companies buy, even in a challenging market, or maybe, more specifically, what your action plan is as a salesperson. It's it's a great use case for concept. We talk about a lot the essential questions. Yeah, you know, and those are, what problems do you solve for your customers? How specifically do you solve those problems? How do you solve them differently or better than anybody else? And where have you done it before? But now, now more than ever, you have to be great at this. And so if we take the first essential question, what problems do you solve for your customers, you need to really make sure that you're focusing on those customers who actually have those problems and you need to get them emotionally connected to solving those problems. So, Rachel, I spent some time last week in New York... with several people in the investment community and and the term that I heard over and over again in those meetings was mission critical. So mission critical problems, mission critical applications, mission critical processes, mission critical relationships. So, you know, we definitely need to make sure that our time as sellers right now, and and really it always should have been this way, but we need to make sure that that time is focused on those things that are mission critical to your customers. Must Haves are not at risk right now, but nice to have are absolutely at risk. So, Um, you're probably actually even thinking that way in your own household. You know what are our must haves, what are Nice to have? That's what everybody in business is doing right now right. So you focus on those must haves and how you align with those must status for your Buyo. I think another way to look at..., John, is the categories of why people buy. They buy for three reasons, because your solution will increase revenue, decrease costs or mitigate risks. Yeah, I mean in this environment when when people are tightening budgets, likely your fastest path to success is to map your solution to something that's going to decrease costs. But that's not the only thing you have to do. You've got to keep in mind everybody's talking about decreasing cost right now, so you have to make sure that you are. You know you're really, really on your game, and I think we need to stay focused on measurable outcomes for our customers and you've heard US talk about it force management before. You hear US talking about all the time about positive business outcomes require capabilities and metrics, and so positive business outcomes, those business outcomes that are mission critical for your customers, require capability. Those are the technical capabilities that will get you...

...the positive business outcomes and they need to be highly differentiated for you as a seller. And metrics are more important now than they've ever been. So how is your customer and you how are you going to measure those outcomes from a revenue, cost and risk mitigation perspective? If you can't articulate that for your opportunities right now, you are at risk. And if you're getting feedback on your deals about delays, priorities, budget cuts, more approvals needed, there's your signs. Time to get really, really clear on your message. Yeah, that clarity in the message is, Um, really important when your buyer is even more distracted than they typically be. Right, you have to help them get from A to B, and one of the ways you do that... by effectively communicating how those essential questions to answers, the essential questions they use spoke spoke about, aligned to to what you do. And I would think as well, John, we all always talk about great hygiene as it comes to prep and follow up, and this is when, like the good sellers are the great sellers separate themselves from just the good sellers. It's the prep, it's the role plays, it's aligning internally and what you're gonna do when you get in that meeting, and then it's doing great follow up as well. Absolutely, I mean I think it's it's critical. It's like there's preparation and there's execution, and you know, we can't phone those in right now. Those have got to be on the money. Yeah, I remember, John, we also did a podcast, Um, right at the start of covid and I mentioned the phrase actually beginning the podcast. The title of it was get busy and yeah, good Manstra here and probably a good bottom line to leave the listener St Yeah, I remember that. You know,...

Gosh, I mean, you can't talk about covid like it's in the past Um, because I don't know if it's ever going to go away. But I remember the podcast that we did on get busy and and you know, during Covid we all watched as all the boats in the harbor went down with the water level, you know, the water level of uncertainty. But I also watched as not all the boats rose with the incoming tide at the same time. And there was there was definitely a difference for some companies, some sellers. And so, without lecturing you, I want to try to give you some spirit instead of sitting around talking about how winter is coming Uh and all the what ifs about the economy and, you know, all the uncertainty, double down right now on the answers to your essential questions. What problems do you solve for your customers? How do you solve them? How do... solve them differently or better, and where have you done it before? And make sure that you attach yourself to mission critical problems. Don't be thrown on a pile of Nice to have gain power by being a must have for your customers. So it's time to get busy again. Time to get busy again. Don't stop, don't stop. All Right, John, thank you for joining me for this conversation. My pleasure. Go get them all right, go get him, everybody, and thank you for listening to the audible ready sales podcast. At force management, we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US AT FORCE MANAGEMENT DOT com. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast. To not miss an episode, subscribe... the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time, H M HM.

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