“I want you to look at your messaging and if it was written during a period of one of these three areas growth, disruption, or boom, hit select all and then hit delete.” – Todd Caponi in today’s Tip 1425
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Todd Caponi. Todd is the author of the 3x best-book-award-winning and international best-seller, The Transparency Sale, and the new bestselling book, The Transparent Sales Leader. Todd is a multi-time C-Level sales leader who’s had 2 successful exits. Today he speaks and teaches revenue organizations about leveraging transparency and decision science to maximize their revenue capacity as Principal of Sales Melon LLC. Here he is:
Todd Caponi: Hey everybody, Todd Capone here and you’ve heard it said before that this macro economy that we’re in right now, we’ve seen this before. There was the recession of 2008, 2001, 1993. Like all of those, sure, it is a recession, and for the most part they happen on a regular basis. However, this recession that we’re in right now, or economic downturn, it’s a little bit different. But we’ve seen this movie before and we know how it ends. And that, I think, is really, really important when you think about the way that you’re approaching your sales pursuits.
What do I mean by that?
Well, when you’ve seen recessions that look like this, where there is a period of extended growth, which we had here from 2016 to 2020, and then there was a disruption, meaning the economy essentially shuts down for a period of time, which it did in March and most of April of 2020. Every time that we’ve had a situation like that, it’s been followed by a period of economic boom, meaning really high growth and to the point of the great resignation. We’ve seen that story before, too, where there is more available jobs than there is qualified talent to take those jobs, and then there is an inflation spike, and it’s then followed by a downturn, which can be a recession.
The last time that I’m seeing this exact story play out was actually in the 1910s and 1920s, and we had what was called the Depression of 1921. That lasted in 1922, and then it started to fade and we went back into a period of extended growth again, which was actually followed by the Great Depression in 1929. But we’ll talk about that in another time.
The point being that this story happens over and over again and companies survive them every single time. Companies do really, really well that shift in the right way. And here’s the mindset that I want you to have when you think about the period that we’re in and this idea that uncertainty will prevail for a period of time, it’s impossible to predict how deep or how long this will go. But like I said, the inflation spike that we’re seeing right now that is then followed by an economic downturn has happened multiple times.
In each case, I want you to think internally about what you do when you hit a personal recession. You probably do three things.
Number one is you probably reduce your discretionary spend, meaning the things that you don’t need right now, you probably put off. Things like the personal trainer, the new couch, or something like that. We all constrict our discretionary spending for a period of time until we’re able to predict.
Number two is we look to reduce costs on the things that we do need consistently. Like a gallon of milk. You’re not going to buy it at Whole Foods for $8 when you can get it at Aldi. Still, gallon of milk came out of the cow for half of that.
And we look to extend our runway on the things that we need. And if you need evidence of that, go back to March of 2020 and look at the lines for two-ply toilet paper. Like, guys, we got to make sure that we’ve got a long runway on that in case that becomes an asset that’s hard to get our hands on.
Here’s what I want you to think about and number one action, and I guess it’s a question for you to think about right now, is the messaging that you are using for your customers and prospects right now. Think about that messaging. When was it written? Was it written in 2021, late 2020, 2019? Was it written during a period of boom? Or was it written with the current times in place?
My advice for all of you is this.
I want you to look at your messaging and if it was written during a period of one of these three areas growth, disruption, or boom, hit select all and then hit delete. Then get a room and think about what your value proposition means to companies that are right here, right now. And then in three months, do it again. Select all, delete, think about where we are, and rewrite your messaging and positioning based on the priorities of the customer at the time, which right now, if you’ve got anything discretionary in your messaging, you are actually driving people away from your solution.
If you can focus on that cost reduction, that runway extension, that is a great place to start. Make sure that your messaging does not include discretionary and has those elements in it. And I’m telling you, right out of the gate, you’re going to feel a lot better about hitting and having clinical levels of empathy for what your customers are experiencing, because you do the exact same thing in a recession and your buyers are representing companies and turns out they’re human too.
All right, give that some thought. Come back to me if you’ve got questions. Would love to help out if I can. All right, thank you!
Scott Ingram: For more from Todd, including the video version of this tip, just click over to DailySales.Tips/1425. Once you’ve done that. Be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!