Learn what being a member does for you
The Seller Styles
Learn the styles and take your free assessment
See a summary of all our programs and certifications
Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP®)
Develop your potential as a certified sales professional
Certified Professional Sales Leader (CPSL®)
Grow your impact as a certified sales leader
Certified Master Sales Professional (CMSP®)
Join the elite group of sales professionals and leaders
Advanced Sales Influence (ASI)
Take your influence and leadership to the next level.
Learn foundational sales behaviors, strategies, and skills
Power of Contact Marketing
Learn from marketing expert and author Stu Heinecke
Join the top 1% of sales professionals in the world.
Next Level Virtual Coaching
Join our ongoing dynamic virtual coaching community
Explore job postings from some of the best companies in the country looking for sales professionals
Daily Dose of Influence!
Enjoy our video series of influence tips and strategies
Leads To Growth
Dig into our podcast featuring industry leaders and experts
Learn from our high-level sales coaching video series
Women of Sales & Influence – Facebook Live Series
Be inspired by our Facebook Live series spotlighting top women influencers
Women of Sales & Influence – Video Blog
Enjoy valuable, high-level sales strategies to empower your sales goals
The Growth Quotient
You’ve heard about IQ, but what is your GQ?
Our Commitment to You
We are here to help your approach to sales, how you interact with others, and how you perform and execute
NASP Sales Blog
Learn from our member-submitted articles for sales professionals
Write For Us
Share your sales expertise and insights with our community
About Our CEO
Standards of Conduct
Common Questions and Answers
Local, national and world economies all tend to go up and down on an irregular cycle. When the economies that affect you are doing well, it usually results in a seller’s market. Demand is high, so you may end up with prospects lining up to buy your product. But when the economy takes a nosedive, you’ll find yourself in a buyer’s market, with low demand and competitors trying to steal away your prospects and customers.
Economic woes are not the only thing that can cause a down market. If your company is in the throes of a major issue — say, a competitor that starts offering rock-bottom prices or an industry-related disaster that scares off prospective buyers — you may also find yourself suddenly having to fight for every sale. A down market is hard on salespeople because circumstances out of your control have now affected your job in a major way. Since staying in control is important to many salespeople, a situation like this can produce a level of pain all out of proportion to its effect on your bottom line.
You can’t change the economy or solve your industry’s problems, but you can change how you react to the situation. First, take the time to examine your sales approach from collecting leads all the way to closing the sale. You’ll usually be able to think of a few ways to improve your sales strategies and make them more effective. As a rule of thumb, the worse a buyer’s market gets, the more leads you’ll need just to get the requires number of closed sales. So you need to ramp up your cold calling and other prospecting methods to get yourself in front of as many people as possible. If you normally aim for 50 cold calls per week, instead plan on making 75 cold calls a week for the next three weeks, and then count how many of those calls you were able to turn into appointments. If you still don’t have enough appointments, bump your number of cold calls up to 100 per week and reevaluate.
Second, if the buyer’s market is caused by a widespread problem such as a recession, your prospects are going to be affected by it in their own jobs or companies. They will probably be stressed and overworked just from keeping up with their financial issues. Revamp your sales presentation to emphasize safety, security and comfort. Frightened and over stressed prospects will tend to respond strongly to those kinds of benefits. And while you’re at it, cut down your presentation by at least 25% — frantic prospects will be less willing to sit still for a long presentation.
If you’re in B2B sales you’ll probably find yourself facing an even more complicated purchasing process than usual, especially if you’re selling high-end, expensive products and services. Like consumers, businesses react to money shortages by cutting back on their spending. And they will often require more approvals or additional paperwork for purchasing anything costly. You might find that instead of convincing one CEO or purchasing officer, you now have to pitch to an entire buying committee, which means it’s likely that your whole sales process will take much longer. And that means that having a solid sales plan is even more important than usual. If you find that your average sales cycle has doubled thanks to these challenges, you must take that into account when you’re planning out your sales activities.
Finally, a tough marketplace is a great opportunity to build your relationships with your existing customers. After all, if you can’t get as many new customers as usual, the only solution is to grab more wallet share from your current customer base. So during these times, customer service should be a major priority for you. If you’ve taken good care of your existing customers, they should already have a pretty high level of trust in you — and as a result, they’ll be more likely to consider upgrading their current product or buying a few additional ones despite the state of the marketplace.
About the author
My first sales position was a summer job selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. I continued through a variety of sales jobs ranging from retail sales for a storage company to selling bank products for a Fortune 500 financial institution.
As a small business owner, I now focuses on selling for my own company, Tailored Content, a website content provider. I write on a wide range of topics but my primary focus is sales and how to sell effectively.