Given that we have almost become conditioned to bad economic news on an almost daily basis, the headlines today trumpeting the strong March results for the retail sector were a welcome departure. The Wall Street Journal reported that with about half of the retail companies on the Dow reporting earnings so far, all but one had beaten Wall Street projections. So considering that consumer spending accounts for nearly two thirds of the US economy perhaps we are seeing the first signs of the general public's inner shopper being released after nearly two years of incarceration.
This all bodes well for a resurgence of B2B spending, right? Well not so fast. The unfortunate reality remains that businesses do not return to discretionary spending as quickly as consumers do. After spending two or more painful years of downsizing, budget cutting and austerity measures in general, most organizations are reluctant to add back cost for two primary reasons. Firstly they want to see more obvious and sustained evidence of an economic turn-around and secondly they want to see how long they can maintain a greatly reduced cost base in order to maximize any profits the recovery may offer them.
What this obviously means for salespeople is that you are going to have to continue to sell in recession-like conditions even after the recession recedes and the recovery grows. By this I mean you are still going to have to continue to work extremely hard to create demand for your product or service and convince your prospect that there is a business imperative to purchase.
If you are waiting for businesses to turn on the spending spigot any time soon you are likely to be sorely disappointed. Instead continue to focus on maximizing and increasing your core business development skills and position yourself to create a steady drip of business – let the others misread the signs and forlornly wait for the deluge.