When Selling in Down Economy, Who You Know Matters Most

It’s no secret that top sales professionals possess both strong relationships and deep industry knowledge. But in a down economy, many have found that who they know has a greater impact on their sales success than what they know.

The reality is that in bad economic times, prospects aren’t willing to take a chance on new businesses when making purchasing decisions. Instead, they rely on sales professionals with whom they have already established a trusted relationship. Doing so helps mitigate the risks involved with investing limited budgets into an unproven or unknown product or service.

That is why the importance of maintaining solid customer relationships cannot be over-emphasized, particularly in today’s market when prospect pipelines are harder to fill no matter how experienced you are. Even if existing customers are not buying, cultivating those relationships ensures that you will be top-of-mind when they are ready to spend. It also increases your chances for referrals.

Of course, maintaining solid connections doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility to stay abreast of industry trends. The ability to share information and advise your customers from a position of knowledge is one of the most powerful ways you can continue demonstrating value and solidify your position as a trusted advisor – even when they aren’t buying.

Too, the pendulum is swinging, albeit slowly. As the economy recovers, possessing expertise and experience will matter just as much as a having a strong network when it comes to growing sales and generating revenues.

In other words, strong connections may matter the most right now. But enhancing those connections with a solid – and growing – base of knowledge will ensure that you are ahead of the curve when the economy turns.

One thought on “When Selling in Down Economy, Who You Know Matters Most”

  1. This unassuming article really hits on what is most important. I have built my career focused on developing in-depth understandings of my customer’s environment and needs, as well as on my product and services and general industry knowledge. I am currently finding however, that strengthening the depth of my relationships is the most important thing that I can do. Customer qualification and my counsel is often still the vehicle for discussion, but there is a substantial shift in the emphasis and aim of the communication and connection. This article neatly articulates what I have been experiencing more and more over the past year and it brings in to light what I have intuiting and how I have been leaning for awhile now.

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