Salescraft: What to do in an Economic Downturn
The current pandemic is the worst market event I have witnessed since September 11th. There is a complete restructuring of the marketplace and the future looks uncertain and at times, downright scary.
What do you do when an economic downturn like this forces your hand and you have to adapt?
These are choppy waters, and the challenge is to observe what is going on, stay present and enter these waters without flinching.
Some ideas and thoughts below. Do not despair.
Zen and the Art of Sales in a Crisis
I vividly remember walking out of the restaurant called Bolo during the economic meltdown more than a decade ago and wondering if I would ever sell a drop of wine again and be able to support myself. I was as scared as I had ever been. The moment I stopped scaring myself, other avenues opened and possibilities arose. I saw the edges and the spaces available clearly.
While the future is uncertain, what we are in today shall pass. If I could hug you, grab you by the shoulders, look you in the eye and tell you that the fight or flight response will not serve anyone, especially you, I would.
It is easy to get tied up in your imagination and think about what has been lost as a forever kind of thing – but the truth of the matter is that you don’t know. What will be reborn, rebuilt and revitalized will surprise you.
What is vital in times like these is to continue to envision a better future.
SALESCRAFT – WHAT TO DO
Retailers have understandably gotten a positive bump in these turbulent times. If I am sitting down and considering what would be best to offer – it looks like this:
Reaching out thoughtfully with both ideas AND inquiring about needs. Putting up ideas like the ones below. Start here if you are locked up.
Any wine that retails under $24.99 in “good” Inventory that can be a go to core item.
Any wine or spirit on special deal.
A wine or spirit that will be on special deal in the future.
A wine or spirit that has been overlooked for no good reason.
Rosé that can be on deck for when the weather breaks (Most have probably sent offers by now, but I would encourage sending a follow up offer or two now to gauge the temperature/reaction).
Any wine or spirit that is a “call category.”
Get involved. Call your representatives and go to saverestaurants.co to be a part of saving the restaurant industry.
And, reach out to friends and colleagues in this diverse industry that are currently unemployed. There is massive uncertainty, so please extend a hand and support however you can. Give to the gofundme pages that are all over social media supporting various restaurant staffs, if you are in the position to give.
“ These are choppy waters, and the challenge is to observe what is going on, stay present and enter these waters without flinching.
Some companies are in straight up survival mode and they will do whatever they have to do to stay afloat in this trying time. Realize that you probably don’t know what is truly behind the curtain and that the better you can adapt, the better you will fare long term. Also, don’t be afraid to ask to help so you can understand the challenges and what you can offer to get through them.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If companies start adjusting commission and/or salaries down in order to endure, it can potentially set off a domino effect of panic. This type of survival move can have a culture shattering effect unless it is messaged properly and the messaging is exceptionally difficult because no one wants to lose anything in a downturn.
Be thankful – consider that whatever the future holds, it is a gift.
Immediately scale down any extraneous spending.
Learn something new that you have always wanted to, but never had the time. Challenge yourself to think forward, not back.