Selling “Green” products or services? Strategies for success during a recession

The recent news that we’re in a recession and have been since the end of 2023, won’t have been a surprise to many organisations who will already be feeling the impact of reduced customer spend on their bottom line. But even in so called ‘recession proof’ industries, the mere mention of the word, causes uncertainty, short-term thinking and caution around what might be deemed unnecessary spending.

Businesses across industries face unique challenges, and those promoting green products or services are no exception. However, with the right strategies, it’s not only possible to weather the storm but also to thrive. Here are some effective tactics for selling green products or services during a recession:

Use your purpose & values

During uncertain times, consumers tend to gravitate towards brands that align with their values and principles. Position your green products or services as a reflection of environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Highlight your commitment to sustainability, ethical sourcing, and eco-friendly practices to resonate with conscious consumers who prioritise ethical considerations in their purchasing decisions. 

People buy first with emotion, then follow it up with a rational judgment so lean on those emotional levers.

Educate the market

Many consumers may be unfamiliar with the benefits of green products or services or have misconceptions about their effectiveness or affordability. “Can’t afford to change” is often said but with a strong ROI value story, you can shift their perception on this (see below).

Use educational content to debunk myths, showcase success stories, and provide transparent information about the environmental and economic advantages of choosing green alternatives. By empowering consumers with knowledge, you can build trust and credibility, ultimately driving sales.

Differentiate and respond proactively

Stand out from the competition by offering unique, innovative green products or services that address specific customer needs or pain points. Whether it’s a ground-breaking eco-friendly technology, a niche sustainable product, or a creative recycling initiative; differentiation is key to capturing market share and building a loyal customer base.

Invest in research and development to continuously improve your offerings and stay ahead of the curve.

Forge strategic partnerships

Collaborate with like-minded organisations, influencers, or industry partners to amplify your message and reach a broader audience. Strategic partnerships can help increase brand visibility, credibility, and market penetration, particularly during challenging economic times.

Whether it’s co-marketing campaigns, cross-promotions, or joint ventures, leverage the power of partnerships to strengthen your position in the market and drive sales.

Highlight cost savings vs. short term thinking

One of the most compelling arguments for green products or services is their potential for cost savings in the long run. Whether it’s energy-efficient appliances, sustainable packaging solutions, or eco-friendly cleaning services, emphasise the financial benefits of choosing green alternatives.

During a recession, consumers and businesses alike are looking for ways to cut costs, making this an opportune time to showcase the economic advantages of sustainability.

Emphasise durability and quality

Green products are often associated with superior quality and durability, offering long-term value for customers. In a recessionary environment where budgets are tight, consumers are more discerning about their purchases and prioritise products that offer longevity and reliability.

Highlight durability and the quality of your green offerings to appeal to cost-conscious customers looking for investments that will stand the test of time.

Building perceived value

It’s tempting to resort to discounting as a quick fix to attract customers and close deals. However, while discounts may provide short-term gains, they often come at the expense of long-term profitability and brand reputation. Instead of slashing prices, focus on building perceived value around your products or services.

Highlight their unique features, benefits, environmental impact and quality to demonstrate why they’re worth the investment. By emphasising what sets your offerings apart, you can justify their price and make customers feel confident in their purchase decision.

Conclusion

By implementing these strategies and being positive in your approach, businesses can still effectively sell green products or services during the tough economic climates. Capitalising on consumer preferences for sustainability, value, and social responsibility helps nudge customers your way.

By emphasising cost savings, quality, values alignment, education, incentives, differentiation, and strategic partnerships, businesses can navigate economic uncertainties and emerge stronger and more resilient in the green marketplace.

Does your Green team need training and development to deliver their sales targets and strategic goals? Get in touch with the wayvie team to find out how we can make that happen for you.

Not sure on how this applies to your business or what to do next? Get in touch and we’re happy to help contact the friendly wayvie team for a free consultation

Selling “Green” products or services? Strategies for success during a recession was written by

Pete Starr

Pete is the Founder of wayvie, with a wealth of experience in learning and development, sales, and leadership. He’s passionate about helping green businesses excel by investing in their people. Pete’s expertise includes selling, account management, leadership development, performance coaching, and he’s an enthusiast of Wim Hof’s cold water techniques.

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