During a recession, there are certain types of products that just sell no matter what. In fact, some products sell even more during a recession. That’s because people just can’t do without certain things, no matter how bad the economy is — like food, water, electricity, and personal care products.
They buy things that make them look and feel good (like soap, beauty products, and candy), but they might not buy the same brands they usually do.
They go cheaper. Sometimes, a lot cheaper.
But that doesn’t mean you have to start selling your products for steep discounts just to make it through this recession.
Instead, you just have to get smarter about your approach.
Regardless of the state of the economy, if your customers want your products, they’re going to buy them no matter what, as long as the products are affordable.
Take a look at six ways you can sell almost anything even during a recession.
1. Sell Recession-Proof Products.
Selling products that people buy no matter what the economy is like is the best approach to getting sales during a recession.
Recession-proof products include things like:
- Food (milk, bread, eggs, rice, noodles, potatoes, and beans)
- Vices (like alcohol and cigarettes)
- Fast food
- Beverages (soft drinks, coffee, tea)
- Personal care and beauty products (soap, toothpaste, cosmetics, and lotion)
- Household products
- Contraceptive products
- Other forms of entertainment (video subscriptions and video games)
- Camping gear
- Funeral services
- Auto parts
- Baby products
- Pet care products
- Education and job services
People also buy health products and healthcare services so if you sell anything related, you might be in the clear.
2. Expand Your Product Line or Service Offerings.
If you have expensive products or services for sale, you don’t necessarily have to lower your prices. Instead, expand your product line or service offerings.
For example, if you sell eBooks and they’re kind of on the expensive side, consider writing a few shorter eBooks and selling them at lower prices.
Not only will it help increase your authority factor, but it’ll give your audience more affordable options. And you won’t have to lower your prices.
If you’re selling a service, think about expanding the kinds of services you offer.
Have you learned a new skill recently that you could add to your repertoire?
Add that as a service and make time to learn even more skills that could translate into additional services for your business.
For example, you could take a free or cheap course that teaches you how to run successful Facebook ad campaigns and then add that to your list of services.
Think about what skills would be most useful to your target audience and start looking for an affordable course to teach you the ropes.
3. Become a Lead-Generating Machine.
During a recession, you may or may not sell less of your products or services, which means you need to double or even triple the leads you have coming in.
There are tons of ways to generate leads by creating lead magnets.
You can create a variety of content to generate solid leads that convert to sales, by:
- Marketing through LinkedIn
- Submitting guest blog posts
- Optimizing your website
- Using inbound and outbound marketing strategies
- Answering questions on Quora
- Offering a free tool on your website
But make sure you have a solid content strategy in place before you start creating new content. My Content Marketing Workbook can help you develop a new content strategy.
You can also use social media and paid ads to generate leads. As long as you know how to create effective ads this method can bring in tons of qualified leads.
Facebook ads aren’t the same as Pinterest ads and there are different audiences to consider for each platform.
Whatever you decide to do to generate more leads, be consistent in your efforts.
Keeping leads in the pipeline is important if you don’t want sales to slow down or stop altogether.
Implementing a few of the suggestions above can help you do that.
4. Don’t Stop Advertising.
As I said above, advertising can help you draw in more customers that fit the demographic you’re aiming for on social media platforms.
Some companies even ramp up their advertising efforts during recessions (like the 2008 recession). And for many of them, (like the Hershey company) it worked.
They increased their advertising budget by 23 percent and their net income increased by over $40 million.
So think about increasing your marketing efforts, even if you don’t necessarily spend money doing it.
You can always opt to offer free, valuable content to draw in prospects.
5. Adjust Your Sales Pitch.
Small Biz Trends recommends reengineering your solutions or offerings to help people with Coronavirus concerns. Take the time to consider what your customers need during these uncertain times and gear your products or services toward helping them get what they need to make it through.
For example, if you’re a B2B company that sells technology equipment to other companies, you could focus on offering solutions that help them get their employees set up with equipment that can help them work from home more efficiently. If you’re a B2C company that sells furniture, you could focus your efforts on helping employees set up their home offices.
Think about what your customers need during these times and you’ll be much more likely to sell your products and/or services.
The first section can help you determine what kinds of products and services to focus on and your marketing department can take it from there.
6. Study Your Buyers’ Behavior.
One of the best things you can do to sell more of your products during a recession is to understand how people spend money during recessions.
Study their behavior and find out what motivates them to spend.
Realize that most people are worried about money — making it, keeping it, and spending it on the right things.
You have to be sensitive to that when you’re trying to sell to them.
If they can’t afford a product or service you’re offering, guide them toward a lower, more cost-efficient option.
But on the other hand, don’t assume that everyone is in the same boat.
While some people might be struggling to make ends meet during a recession, not everyone is. Some people do just fine, or even better during a recession.
Considering all of the above can help you sell almost anything during a recession, whether you sell products or services.
While some industries are obviously exempt from this, such as businesses that have been ordered to shut down during the Coronavirus pandemic, these strategies can help you if you run your own business from home, online, or if you’re an essential business.
Whatever your situation, a positive attitude and a proactive plan can make all the difference in how much you sell. So keep the faith and keep pushing forward.
Don’t forget to check out my Content Marketing Plan Workbook to help you revamp your marketing strategy and sell more during recessions.