An unstable economy can cause your business a lot of grief. Customers that may have been loyal and steady for years may suddenly decide they’re going to downsize, needing fewer of your products or services. You may be receiving emails from companies who definitely want to use you, but they only want to do so if you give them a 50% discount. And that big fish you were hoping to catch has all of a sudden changed their mind and swam to other waters.
Many business owners lay awake at night thinking about how they’re going to handle the next big economic downturn. But the reality is that many of today’s largest corporations got their start in the middle of a bad economy, and continued to become the heavy hitters they are today. And it’s no big secret or miracle how they accomplished this.
Even though the economy may be unpredictable, there are some things that never change. One such thing is human nature. All of humanity operates from a basic set of emotions and ideas. While all of us won’t feel the same things all of the time, each one of the following is bound to motivate us to buy something at one time or another:
In addition to the emotions and ideas listed above, there are a number of ‘hot buttons’ that, when pushed, can result in a sale. Outward beauty appeals to our sense of vanity, while money can speak to both our greedy or charitable sides. Other hot buttons include time, popularity, comfort and the need to be complimented, along with success, pleasure, health, security and self-esteem.
In times of economic distress, things like comfort, health and security seem to matter most. But that’s not enough to get more sales when you need them. Knowing when and how to use the above motivators can bring you more leverage during lean times.
Know When To Hold Them
Some motivators will work more effectively than others. Lust can be a powerful motivator that works regardless of when it’s used. But other motivators such as fear, have to be used with a sense of discretion. Fear works well when the goal is to get attention, but not so much when it comes time to buy. Example: would you threaten your customer with bodily harm unless they purchased from you?
Anger is another motivator that, when coupled with some kind of justification, can cause sales to occur. And in a bad economy, it may be even more effective, with a higher number of people being frustrated with the state of current affairs than usual. And so getting them angry about something and then telling them you’re on their side can create a bond, and then loyalty, which can result in a sale.
Other Strategies To Increase Sales
Developing one or more streams of income can ensure that you continue to receive a steady income. Analyze your business and see if there are any industries which can benefit from your products or services in addition to your usual customers. You may end up finding a niche that can offer you long-term profits.
You’ll be thankful that you kept in touch with your former customers once the time comes that you need some extra income. Dig out your old email list and don’t be afraid to say hello; the worst a former customer can say is ‘no’, and even if they do, there are still others who may have forgotten about you and will consider your correspondence to be a welcome reminder. When contacting customers, you might want to take it a step further and think about their competitors, because chances are they could use what you are selling too.