Last week's webinar on "Selling Through a Slump" hit a chord with sales and marketing professionals. Over 1200 people signed up for the event, nearly 400 attended live, and we had 67 questions from the audience.
With so many questions, we could not answer them all, in spite of yeoman's work from the panel of CRM expert Denis Pombriant, leading sales professional Jill Konrath, and top Oracle sales leader David Bonnette. We promised to post all the unanswered questions here, and to begin to answer them as a "collective" group.
If you can help with an answer, please log in (or sign up if you are not a member) and leave an answer in the comments area. Here goes:
What would all the experts say are the top 5 tips to sell successfully through a slump?
Which industries are strongest right now?
Do you agree with the statement "You have to spend money to save money?" How does a sale person hammer home this point professionally?
Can you give examples of the Social Media being used? (is this LinkedIn, Facebook, etc)?
What trigger events indicate a company wants to buy during downturn?
My sales organization provides research and advisory services and all of our sales are done over the phone. It seems more and more now a days the first thing out of the prospects mouth seems to be our budgets are frozen, no money to spend, cost reductions mode only. How would you recommend handling that objection to secure the chance to earn their business?
What are your suggestions for dealing with commoditization? Example: Selling a customer a professionally designed Web Site when they know they can get a "template" quickie site from an amateur for $200?
How much is too much in regards to staying in front of prospects knowing that a realistic sale won't take place until after economy improves?
I own a Marketing company and from a sales perspective I advise my clients that now is the time to market themselves more than ever. Although many clients realize that this is a true statement they still don't feel they have the means or can justify spending on marketing. Any studies or research that we could point to that shows the successes of organizations during a down economy & their increased marketing efforts?
In a downturn economy, should you join more professional networking associations? There is typically a moderate to high cost involved.
The utilization of an online survey tool to ask our customers how we are doing is also a sales tool we are using by planting questions about their knowledge about our new service offerings. Is that a good idea or should we be asking my customers how we are doing right now? Should I let sleeping dogs lay?
Given that it's harder now to get attention of our current and loyal clients, any thoughts on effective prospecting in these times?
Which industries do you see as being best positioned to flourish in the downturn? Where are they most likely to invest?
Doesn't a down economy offer us the ability to grow our business in that it is burning away the underbrush of less-qualified competitors?
There is a lot of discussion on current customers and going in depth with existing customers. What are the panelists thoughts on penetrating new target accounts? Do they recommend going in cold or using existing relationships?
It has never been more difficult to get in the door than right now. What are some different approaches to take recognizing I have been employing a consultative sales approach?
I want to know how they feel about "buying" business by just making the fee so attractive they "can't refuse."
Question for Jill.... How would you answer the initial objection "Our budgets are frozen, no money available, thus I do not want to speak right now?
Jill, in trying to penetrate a new account right now, is cost savings and driving efficiency the best messaging when the target company has a triggering event like financial write-offs?
Jill: What about using Trigger Events to help organizations retain customers instead of get new ones.
What are Jill's recommendations/methods in attaining specific company info relating to the triggering events?
The biggest issue people have is money - why is everyone avoiding this. Why not just reduce the price?
I'm a Mgt Consultant, and typically have work, but now I have to resort to Sales & Mkting. I'm trying an approach, that I'm wondering if the panel can reply to. I'm calling prospects the night before and leaving a message stating that I'm stopping by their lobby the next day. I stop by and ask for them, and if they don't respond I leave several "homemade marketing slicks". So far, I've done this twice and plan another round tomorrow. I did get one, 1 hour interview on the spot. Any suggestions on my approach or how to enhance it would be great.
We are seeing customers need increased budget dollars for adding products. How do we get them to see replacement as an option?
Jill introduced the concept of 'piquing curiosity' in her book...my question is: In our prospecting efforts how do you cause target accounts to become curious about you? What specific question(s) would you ask that would cause a prospect to want to engage?
Are traditional methods of prospecting - networking events, networking groups, etc. - still effective efforts in a down economy?
What Trigger Events cause customers to leave and what can be done to keep customers when these events happen?
What are your thoughts about rewarding customers to create loyalty?
DB - I'm curious on your input. What is the best approach for demand gen?
Can you talk a bit about building customer loyalty?
Good sales people can be valuable to companies, but there is almost a knee jerk reaction to sales people. How can you overcome the customer's reluctance to speak with you because they perceive you as a problem?
This seminar is way too high level. Why did you avoid the obvious question about the power of price reduction or special packages or deals.
Any ideas on prospecting?