What People Buy in a Bad Economy

As a sales trainer, I understand a salesperson’s quest for low hanging fruit especially in this economy. That’s why they want to know what people buy in a bad economy. I know they are searching for a list of products but my answer is much more useful.

What do people buy in a bad economy? They buy protection from loss. Our first instinct in a down economy is to preserve and maintain what we already possess. The key is knowing how to structure this message in a sales presentation.

During the sales process, products are presented as a solution to a prospect’s problem. It may be that the product allows a prospect to become more productive or to spend less money. During a strong economy, everyone is looking to do more and to do it faster. However, everything changes in a difficult economy and salespeople need to react to those changes if the expect to succeed in their sales careers.

In a strong economy, salespeople sell the positive side of benefits. They justify a purchasing decision with elaborate Return On Investment calculations. When the economy is growing, companies want to grow along with it. What people buy in a bad economy is quite different.

Understanding What People Buy In A Bad Economy

The fear of further loss is a strong motivator and that’s what people buy in a bad economy. To succeed, a sales message must appeal to that motivator. The sales message must expand from “saving money” to include “stop losing your money”. The sales message must expand from “becoming more productive” to “stop wasting your productivity”.¬†In a troubled economy, the salesperson must “sell” both the negative and positive sides of the benefits. The fear of loss is what people buy in a bad economy. Reacting to this economy, I now include this point in my sales training programs.

I know when sales reps ask me what people buy in a bad economy, they are looking for a new product to sell. I remind to always sell what they know and enjoy. Sales success isn’t product dependent. Sales success depends on delivering the proper message. In this difficult economy, that message must appeal to the fear of further loss. That’s why “stop losing your money” and “stop wasting your productivity” are more effective sales message during this economic period.

What People Buy In A Bad Economy Is Not About A Product

When you want to know what people buy in a bad economy, stop thinking about a product or industry. In a difficult economy, people are searching for protection against further losses.

The fear of loss becomes a much stronger motivator than the desire for gain when the economy is down. Appeal to that motivator and you’ll enjoy great sales success selling any product.

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