Selling In The Oil & Gas Sector Downturn

John is under pressure; he is well behind target – despite the fact that his target has already been revised downward in light of market conditions. The Sales Director is also under pressure from the Board and….well we all know that shit runs downhill. John needs to make a dent in his target to keep the Sales Director off his back. Redundancy is something he worries about. There’s been no indication of this so far but he knows many people in the industry that have been made redundant.

However, he believes that he has a great opportunity in the pipeline, he gets after it… and get’s shot down – by three different contacts in the client – because they have a freeze on capex spend in the face of the current downturn. What John does next is more a reflexion of John, his core attributes and his sales experience than whether there really is another viable strategy.

Here are some potential scenarios for John and likely outcomes:

Scenario 1 Does he believe he was rejected and more importantly is he feelingrejected? If so, he won’t put himself back in that situation again.

Scenario 2 Is he concerned about upsetting the client? If so, he won’t go back and risk damaging the relationship (if there really is one) by asking more questions and trying again.

Scenario 3 Does he have a sense of urgency and a strong drive for results? If not, he won’t put himself through the ordeal.

Scenario 4 Is he frustrated or anxious about the failure? If so, he’s probably emotionally involved. That could cause him to misinterpret the situation, miss important points, explanations and potential solutions.

Scenario 5 Does he believe that he has the right answer if he can find the right questions to uncover the true need? If he does, having the right strategy will give him the confidence to forge ahead.

Selling in a downturn is tough, overcoming objections is tough. Going back after a prospect or client says ‘no’ can be demoralising. Moving on in the face of such adversity can feel like pushing water uphill. What kind of salesperson does it take to go back for more and, at the same time, move on and find new business?

How tough are your salespeople? Are they tough enough to sell effectively in the downturn? They were taking orders when the times were good but are they equipped to sell when prospects stop buying?

Kingman Lennox can help you to identify those who have what it takes to thrive in challenging and highly competitive circumstances. Drop me a line to find out how.

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