Risk-sensitive customers sales playbook

Risk-sensitive customers and how to handle them

  • Crisis selling
  • Strategy
posted on 18 August 2020

Dealing with customers at risk of churning can be a significant hurdle for businesses to retain. When markets are unpredictable, customers become insecure with their budgets and tend to find ways to decrease their expenses. Uncovering reasons why customers are risk-sensitive will help your business to overcome the hurdle of churning.

Risk-sensitive customers

Due to unpredictable circumstances, customers identify more risks than when markets are predictable. Once markets begin to be volatile, customers experience stress, discomfort, and start to panic.

The figure below shows how approximately 50-55% of companies have significantly reduced their spending. The budgets have decreased; therefore, there will have to be a shift in the way business accommodate their purchasers. To keep customers secure, you will need to create new products and services that adapt to incoming market trends as they change over time. You will need to make rapid decisions that will be assessed from a risk perspective—keeping your service or product relevant and within the customers’ budget.

Sales playbooks to tackle risk-sensitive customers
The figure above shows how companies have decreased budgets

Define who your customers are

Before looking at your risk-sensitive customers, you will need to divide your customers into different categories. Identify the 5 W’s of each customer by understanding who they are, where they are, what they are looking for when they need you, and why they are dealing with you. These are fundamental aspects of uncovering which of these customers are in a higher risk category. 

Once you have identified which classification your risk-sensitive customers fall into, you can begin a strategic plan to address any issues each customer has. The best way to do this is to find the top concerns of your most vulnerable customer and address those first.

Addressing concerns

When your buyer becomes uncomfortable, it is essential to make changes that can create a less threatening environment—finding different circumstances like the length of a contract, flexibility, risk, negative and positive consequences, and the outcome.

Providing customers with an action plan and contingency plans will reduce pressure and stress during uncertain times. To do this, you can identify different strategic plans to showcase current and future clients.

You can use a sales playbook for an outline that you can use even in times of crisis or in unpredictable times. You can get a customized framework to create a strategic plan within your company. Each company is different and will have different playbooks.

Following a strategic plan will help you be prepared for any circumstances should they arise. Having a backdoor playbook not only will set your employees with the skills but will help customers see a plan that is valuable to them.

As a business, you will need to address all emotions that customers are having. We would like to provide three strategies to address the fears and emotions that customers experience today:

Number One: Value Position

When customers look at the value within your company, this will show the risks versus benefits. Minimizing the risks will increase the value-added to your company. Having a risk assessment and displaying your contingency plans will help customers view your value position within an ever-changing market.

Number two: Implementation

When implementing your product or solution, you eliminate or minimize this particular risk. For example, many clients are worried about a potential loss in revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis. Having an escape clause will give customers peace of mind.

Number three: Inside Sales Process

You will need to train all salespeople on the new process and identify the benefits and value available to the customer. The salespeople must determine the outcome that will be predictable, showing customers that you have implemented new processes to alleviate all risks.

The sales playbook creates a plan that is shareable with your clients. This will help clients to understand your commitment to creating a futureproof layout that leaves risk-sensitive clients at ease.

Sales playbooks role in times of uncertainty

As you’ve seen, choosing to write the proper sales playbook that will address these challenges will help your customers be guided appropriately. Even though it might be intimidating to do business, it’s still possible to do business with you because you’re prepared.

At first, looking at the challenges of unpredictable times can become daunting. Having a backup plan and your sales playbook will help you prepare for unpredictable times. This allows your risk-sensitive clients to feel comfortable with choosing you as a company to work with moving forward.

You can get a free copy of our sales playbook guide here.