Salespeople are the face of every business. They are at the heart of new business growth and bear the burden of providing revenue for their company. Could you use some encouragement and advice? Could you use a roadmap and equipment to help you to navigate this uncharted territory? In this blog series, Scorecard Coach, Aaron Jacobs brings encouragement, hope, and advice for salespeople during this pandemic crisis.
This is a season of anxiety, helplessness, and downright fear. The government has prudently ordered businesses to shut down public operations across many industries. What’s a sales person to do? What’s the playbook here?
There is no playbook for how to sell when the entire globe has been shut down. There is, however, your reliable sales intuition that knows how to use your time wisely. The very first thing you should do is take inventory of what you have accomplished and what new opportunities will be presented once the pandemic has ended. Do not panic. A virus will not eliminate the need for what you are selling. Even if discretionary dollars are limited from the buyers, it just means you’ll have to work harder. Sometimes we have to do that in sales; work harder. Do not plant the seeds of doubt within your own mind, your customers or your co-workers. Those seeds will quickly germinate into defeat. Once defeat becomes a viable outcome for you, chances are that the game is already lost.
This is also a great time to organize your sales data. Evaluate your client and prospecting lists. You may discover that there will be new opportunities with them once you are given the ‘all-clear’. Get your sales house in order so that when it is time to return to the grind, you are pumped and ready to go.
This is also a great time to touch base with your clients, and perhaps even your prospects just to say hello. Check-in with them and see how the current situation is affecting them. Spend more time listening as people really need someone to talk to right now. What is it like for them to work from home? How do they feel this disruption has affected their business? What do they see as the best path to recovery? Don’t look for the sales at this time unless you discover an absolute need. You need to set yourself up for the future so you don’t have to spend too much time playing catch up.
If you post professionally on social media sites such as Linkedin, share some insight on your optimism for the future when things return to business-as-usual. The more you publish your optimism, the more likely clients and prospects will gravitate toward you. The universe has a certain way of rewarding optimism. And that is the most important thing; keep seeing the future as being bright. Every storm runs out of rain and better days are just around the corner.
The marketplace will have a new meaning of wants and needs after this pandemic is over. There will be a new normal and the world will change just as it did after 9/11. It is up to you to change with it. With change comes new opportunities and the best way to find these opportunities is to listen to the marketplace. What do your best customers have to say about this? How is your competition responding to the circumstance? Will your product or service change from being a need to a want and, if so, how do you make the marketplace want it again to the point that they need it?
Empathize with all who have been impacted by the pandemic. Right now is the time to listen, which fits perfectly for us as salespeople because 75% of what we should normally be doing is listening.
I understand the pressure to make new sales happen immediately. Some of you will be able to do that given the nature of what you sell. Others of you will have a longer road. Those who can weather this storm will be greatly rewarded if by only the virtue of being the last salesperson standing. You’re going to have to turn over more stones than you may have been used to in the past. Believe me, your customers are still out there and your job is to find them just as it has always been. You might be getting more ‘no’s’ than you are used to, but you will still find your ‘yes’s’. If you have no other choice at this moment to enjoy some quiet time then do so. It may be a gift from the universe. And when it’s all over, get back out there and sell.