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How To Boost Sales In Uncertain Times


These days, no one's a stranger to uncertainty. Uncertainty can leave a mark—we're still talking about a recession that happened almost 10 years ago. Along with this, the confusion that comes with uncertainty doesn’t exactly build trust, be it from person to person, person to business or person to government. It's times like this that business owners and individual shoppers aren’t exactly running out to spend their money.

But even as you watch news stories that make you take a pause, your company can't. Your marketers still have content and lead generation targets to hit and your sales team still has a quota. “Everyone’s scared so I’m 30% below goal for October” really doesn’t cut it. Another pesky side effect of uncertainty: businesses put the brakes on hiring and sometimes even cut back. You don’t want to be a victim of rightsizing.

So how do you encourage purchase and boost sales in uncertain times? Here are my suggestions:


1. Be the expert.

Do your research and make sure you understand your buyer’s pain points. A few years ago, insurance companies were faced with delayed decisions from employers because of the ACA. Insurance companies found a way past this challenge by understanding employers' fears and taking the lead as the experts on ACA.


2. Acknowledge the situation.

I’ve heard time and time again that sales and marketing teams often don’t want to address the uncertainty elephant in the room. Maybe your client isn’t already thinking about it. Why scare them, right?

Wrong. Acknowledging the situation at hand is the first step to building trust with your audience. Tell your future client that you understand why they are nervous, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. You’re looking to partner with them long term whether they purchase now or not.


3. Build trust with content marketing.

Editorial content is one of, if not the most trusted kind of business-generated marketing—so there couldn’t be a better avenue to build trust with your audience. You should incorporate tips one and two in your content marketing: tie in relevant recent events to show you know your stuff. Acknowledge how the situation applies to your industry. Say something new and thoughtful. Position yourself as a trusted business partner that’s worth investing in.


4. Don’t be pushy.

This one is a little more obvious, which is why I placed it last in the list. If there was ever a time not to practice the hard sell, it’s when uncertainty abounds. Giving buyers the hard sell during unpredictable times will push them away, and possibly even ruin the relationship for good. Just a friendly little reminder for all you pushy salespeople and marketers—I know you’re out there—You need to put buyers and customers first.


Whether it's a recession or any other type of uncertainty, they've happened before, and will happen again. Do you have any tried and true strategies to build trust and encourage purchase? If so, I’d love to hear more—leave a comment below.

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