Time to offer belts and ties to ALL your customers.

by Mark Dresner

In a recession businesspeople still NEED to buy things. Though WHAT and HOW they buy changes.

Here’s what I mean.

Throughout the recession of the 1980’s I was a salesperson at the #2 computer maker in the world. It was a time when businesses were buying fewer large computer systems.

One day the VP of Sales revealed the secret to beating the sales doldrums in a recession. He told us to start selling our customers belts and ties.

Belts and ties?

He went on to explain…

In lean times people cut back on spending for business wardrobes. Instead of buying new suits they’re forced to make do with what they already owned.

But they still had to look good when they calling on customers.

The solution: buy new belts and ties (or scarves). These accessories make their older suits appear like completely new outfits.

This story is just a metaphor of course.

He went on to explain that “belt and ties” in the technology industry were add-ons and upgrades.

Can’t sell a new computer system? Then sell more memory, a CPU upgrade or additional storage. Or better yet, offer new services to ease the burden of reduced staff and increased workloads.

The point our Sales VP was making, the world doesn’t stop completely – even in a recession. It does require that we work hard solve the customers problems more creatively.

Helping your clients NOW – in every way possible – will earn you their undisputed loyalty.

And who do you think they’re gonna call when things return to normal?

So what are the belts and ties in your industry? Figure this out and you and your customers will do just fine – even in the downturn.

Happy selling.

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