Selling in a Crisis

Selling in a Crisis

In Tom Erb’s “Selling in a Crisis” webinar, he reviewed the silver linings that come with every downturn. These range from scarce, marketable talent becoming available, to the thinning of competition, how recruiters’ value as experts increases, and more.  

In times of crises, many businesses tend to panic, leading to poor decisions. Often the panic will lead business owners to stop selling and recruiting as well as slash expenses – all of which leads to decisions creating negative impacts on the business. Owners are left unprepared for the inevitable rebound.

The best course of events in the time of crises is to maintain focus and continue to sell, but tone down the message. It’s important to remember that people don’t want to be “sold,” especially now. As Jeffrey Gittomer says, “People love to buy, but hate to be sold to.”

Not only are prospects getting bombarded, they’re stressed out because of the uncertainty in the business climate, have guilt because they may be laying people off, and are worried about their families and staff.  

To separate yourselves from the competition, promote a message of “we are here to help.” Show the expertise and value you have by being a resource for solutions and information prospects can’t get on their own. If you’ve been through a downturn (such as 2008 – 2009) before, share past experiences to give them a frame of reference and let them know what others are doing now so they have other perspectives.

One way to position yourself as a resource is to lend support for people the prospects may have to lay off. This will help ease some of their guilt and also help the workers hopefully find another job. If the prospect is at a point where they need more recruiting help, let them know how you can address that need, too.

The Top 10 most in-demand jobs in the US:

  • Store Associate
  • System Operator
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Healthcare Specialist
  • Construction Worker
  • Warehouse Manager
  • Psychologist
  • Vehicle Mechanic
  • Academic Advisor
  • Delivery Driver

By understanding where the top needs are and the timing of how different industries will rebound, staffing owners can focus their efforts where needs will be highest. Essential businesses are going to bounce back faster than others, and we’ll likely see a rebound in healthcare, supply chain and some manufacturing before retail, restaurants and hospitality. Tourism, international travel, cruises and sporting events/festivals/concerts are predicted to take several months to rebound.

The Enhanced Unemployment Benefits program had an unintended impact on the staffing industry. The standard state unemployment benefit of 26 weeks has now been extended to 39 weeks. An employee earning an average $12/hour, will typically receive roughly $240/ week from unemployment.  With the additional $600/ week benefit being provided through July 31, 2020, employees received a 75% pay raise to stay home. This will impact companies’ ability to rebound due to employees making more money by staying home.

Please note, if you obtained a PPP loan, your forgiveness amount (pursuant to section 1106 of the CARES Act and SBA’s implementing rules and guidance) will not be reduced if the borrower laid off an employee, offered to rehire the employee for the same salary/wages and same number of hours, but the employee declines the offer. The borrower must have made a good faith, written offer of rehire, and the employee’s rejection of that offer must be documented by the borrower. Employees and employers should be aware that employees who reject offers of re-employment may forfeit eligibility for continued unemployment compensation.

Offering your expertise in finding candidates and showing how you’re helping other clients plan for potential employee shortages positions you as an expert and a resource against your competition. Since an average search can take anywhere from 45 – 90 days, and previously unavailable talent is accessible and willing to talk, you should encourage clients and prospects to take advantage of these opportunities to get them ahead of their competition.

Ultimately, this is when you should be connecting with clients and prospects who build relationships with new talent and help them prepare for the coming rebound.

Click here to view Tom’s full presentation.