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How do we sell in times like these?

How sales professionals can adapt to the new normal

With businesses shut down, social distancing the norm, and life getting back to normal taking longer than anyone could have imagined, anyone in sales is surely wondering how to sell in times like these. Where should our focus be? How do we engage our customers? Contact our prospects? Is it even possible to close a deal?
These are all great questions because selling during a crisis is different. You need to adjust your approach, your expectations, and your results. Employing the same strategies and techniques that you did before Covid-19 will lead your company into a series of overwhelming difficulties. Lessons can be learned from previous global crises and there are critical shifts you can make today that will help you maintain business, and possibly even grow in spite of Covid-19. It is important to remember two things:

  • It is still possible to sell, and win deals, right now
  • Companies do still spend money

Selling in a crisis

Being a trusted advisor 
Before selling anything to your existing clients and prospects, it is important to focus on being of service to them. Keeping in contact, not to close a deal but to learn what they need and how you can potentially help them. Your customers are likely to be facing the most difficult times of their careers. Find out what you can do to advise them and add value to help ease their struggles. Selling in a time of crisis is about building trust, providing assistance to your customers and solving their problems.

Accept the lack of urgency
You will almost certainly have noticed by now that many people freeze during a crisis. They are unable or fearful of making a decision, so manage your expectations on closing dates and “invest in the long game” for future sales. Think of this period as a chance to create long-term opportunities, rather than closing deals quickly.

Analyse your client list
When selling in a crisis, it is important to first look through your client list and consider the industry, the size of the company and their potential to need your services in the near future. Whilst some of your prospects in industries such as hotels and hospitality will have suffered, there are a number of industries who are not just surviving, but are thriving during the current pandemic. These  include:

  • E-commerce
  • Collaborative technology
  • Healthcare
  • Automakers
  • Remote learning
  • Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS)

Adapt for the future
When this crisis is over, and it will be over, you need to be ready to sell in the new environment. Use your time now to think about how sales, your customers, and the business climate in general will change. Then proactively adapt to ensure you are prepared.

To bring yourself up to speed and to learn more about selling in a crisis, check out our upcoming virtual training. In this highly interactive webinar, you will learn strategies to help you apply focus and logic to your client list and spend energy in the right way, with the right clients. This course is ideal for sales teams, Managers and Directors who need to sell now, and aren’t 100% sure how to execute in this market.

You will learn:

  • Why sales calls are different now
  • Avoiding mistakes that you could make when selling in the current environment
  • Adapting your approach to make successful sales calls
  • Emotional Intelligence techniques for selling effectively
  • How to make appropriate offers to your clients today

To learn more about selling in a crisis, or our other upcoming events, check out our event page.

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