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Prospects suffering from PTRSD?

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The hangover from the recent recession is, unfortunately, still with us. Like the Great Depression, the Great Recession has left a lot of people with deep psychological scarring or what I call Post-Traumatic Recessionary Stress Disorder.

After the Great Depression, people changed their habits. They became much more frugal. They were always concerned that the next depression was lurking right around the corner. My grandmother used to say, “You didn’t live through the Depression.” And I predict that’s what people are going to say about this recession, too.

What’s old is what’s needed. A lot of your buyers are still reeling from the Great Recession, even five years on. They are still afraid to take risks, and many believe we are still in the middle of a recession, even though, with the exception of 2009, the economy has grown every year since. By 2008, theU.S.economy had hit $14.7 trillion. Now it’s $16.2 trillion, and many companies have higher profits than before the recession. And yet, prospects are still afraid to buy. Here’s how to combat this dread disease:

  • If you want to help your dream clients move forward, you need to work on building trust. They need to know that you are going to be there for them. Trust is built on a foundation of caring.
  • If you want to help your dream clients make the right investments now, you must provide them with evidence that you are going to produce results and be accountable.
  • You must help your dream clients overcome their fears and move forward. This requires presence, patience and reassurance that they are going to receive the benefits of your help.

What’s needed now is the old stuff—caring, trust, good counsel, accountability and a partner-minded approach. Those values were the antidote to fear then—and they’re the cure for PTRSD now.

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at CapitalUniversity’s Schoolof Managementand Leadership. For more information, go


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