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There are some interesting things happening when it comes to doing business in the current environment.

• If it used to take 30 days to get a transaction closed, it now takes 120 or more
• If it used to take 20 contacts to get someone to listen to you, it now takes 100 or more
• If someone was inclined to do business with you before, they are now inclined to make sure they are getting the best deal regardless of their relationship with you

It’s a scary world for your clients. As a result, you must recognize this and change the way you approach “sales,” or you are likely to suffer.

People just aren’t in the mood to be sold. There are a variety of reasons for this all borne from the harsh economic realities we are living through. With all the negativity surrounding us every day, consumers are thinking any financially impactful decision through much more thoroughly than they ever have. This means they are taking much longer to commit and, in many cases, postponing decisions until things “get better.”

So what can you do to increase sales?
• Don’t sell, help.
• Don’t close, advise.
• Don’t push, encourage.
• Become completely indispensable.

It’s a totally different mindset but one that must be adopted in order to survive, no matter how counterintuitive it might be to the most hardcore of salespeople. Furthermore, besides the economic reasons driving this necessity to change your approach, today’s online consumer also doesn’t want to be “sold.”

Let’s look at what we do online to engage consumers:
• We blog about interesting topics that will position us as thought leaders.
• We post interesting articles, videos, etc. that provide engaging and relevant information.
• We allow the online consumer to interact with us without forcing them to make a decision…they control the process and call the shots.

We should be doing the same thing in the offline world. The more we are able to uncover someone’s needs and help them understand how much their issue could be costing them, the more we can prove to be an indispensable resource in helping them analyze their challenges. If we accomplish this, the more likely that consumer will be inclined to do business with us when they are ready to make a commitment.

As I mentioned above, the challenge is that we now have to do this with a significantly larger number of prospects because there are fewer willing to take chances and will only do so at their own pace. If you and your team increase your prospecting activity and become indispensable, you will be able to ride out the storm ahead of your competition.

Jose Perez is the founder and chief visionary of PCMS Consulting. PCMS provides innovative solutions leading brokerages require to enhance their market position and profitability. For more information, please visit www.pcmsconsulting.com or email jperez@pcmsconsulting.com.

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