Welcome to the new normal, at least for the foreseeable future. When confronted with challenges we all have a decision to make and that is do we throw in the towel or do we adjust and learn to win the day. Sales never sleeps and if you want to be a top performer you must be always adjusting and learning to fit the circumstance. Now is your time!
If you are reading this article than you have passed step 1 of being interested in change and we hope the advice provided below is part of your adjustment journey during this challenging time. Here are 6 tips for dealing with the new reality of selling in the age of the novel coronavirus:
- Add value in every interaction. You must be even more conscientious about time spent communicating with prospects, buyers and customers. Acknowledge that they’re busy and, like you, they are trying their best to adapt to a new environment. Recognize the impact of current events on their businesses, their initiatives, their teams, and their families. Advance planning for any interaction (e.g., calls, emails) is critical to ensuring you’re prepared to use those “golden minutes” effectively and efficiently.
- Sales content is critical. What you send to buyers and customers (e.g., white papers, proposals, FAQs, specifications) becomes especially important and must communicate the organization’s value in a clear, concise manner. Assume that readers will not have time to search for the nuggets of meaning and relevant information. Summarize documents using bullet points when necessary, and point to relevant sections.
- Leverage remote working tools. You’re probably already using tools for chat, virtual meetings, email, and phone. Now is a good time to polish the skills you use to communicate virtually as it can be challenging to “read” a customer’s reaction when interacting virtually. Active listening is a requirement to ensure you understand and address buyer and customer needs.
- Use video. Use video whenever possible and appropriate. Research shows that a video call is much more effective in attracting (and keeping!) participants’ attention than a phone call. One vital skill is to actively engage everyone in the meeting — especially if it’s a combination of remote and in-person attendees.
- Get dressed for success. This may seem obvious, but the act of getting dressed is like putting on your sales uniform. It moves you into a sales “mentality” — much like a doctor putting on a lab coat. Working in a bathrobe or pajamas might seem like a luxury, but it sets the wrong tone for both you and your customers.
- Have a work buddy. When you are a remote worker, hallway, kitchen, and watercooler conversations don’t happen as readily. I highly recommend having a formal “sales buddy” who you virtually spend time with a few times a week. This can help maintain communication and cultural norms and reduce any feelings of isolation.