Across my client base, I'm hearing a consistent story:
Patients are thinking twice about investing in dentistry;
There are plenty of patients who, having thought twice, are deciding to proceed now;
Some are deciding to delay.
The third group interest me and remind me of an early lesson in sales training (1980) that the word "no" requires clarification:
"Could you just clarify for me, is that "no never" or is it "no now"?
"If it is "no not now", when would be a good time for me to speak with you about this again?"
In my own sales career, more often than not, "no" meant "no not now" - and so I had (and I urge you to check that you have) very efficient systems to follow through on those who said "no not now".
Back in the 80's it was a series of WHSmith index cards in two boxes - first box, months 1-12, second box days 1-31 - the card came out on the relevant day and I made the call (often to the surprise of the prospect, followed by respect).
Nowadays you have all sorts of fancy software to automate the same process, although I'd probably revert to my boxes if I had to - there's something nice and tangible/tactile that appeals to me.
Recessions are cycles during which we have to become more effective in our sales conversion language but also in our sales pipeline management.
Make sure your TCO's read this - and confirm that they are on it.
As far as consumer confidence is concerned, the World Cup and Christmas will do a lot to get people past the politics and economics - we were at John Lewis, Cheadle on Saturday - absolutely packed inside the store and with queues of traffic on approach.