There’s no sugar coating it, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered so many fields, and the sales world is certainly not an exception. Regardless if you’re already in a sales role today, or seeking employment in the sales world, I’ve got you covered. Since we all are adjusting to this “new normal” set upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, majority of us have had to gravitate towards remote selling.
I’m going to cover 4 points below on selling through COVID, however these tips apply to selling in general as well and can be adjusted when we return to business as usual.
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To start with, you have to re-position yourself to the new normal brought upon all and sundry, courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, this re-positioning means to CALIBRATE. Sales personnel are go-getters, fuelled with optimism that propels the economy forward. Therefore, you’ve got to calibrate your way into confidence to steer up faith and hope within other people.
To be candid, your product(s) and services are very much needed in today’s world. So, reach out to people with greater optimism than before.
Re-positioning/calibrating is two-sided; yourself and to your prospective clients. Calibrating to your potential client entails you giving sincere answers to the following questions.
- Who are your clients as professionals, and as a person caught in the new normal?
- What are their distinct roles in the home and at work?
- What do your clients need at the moment? How have their needs changed?
To get answers to these questions, put yourself in their shoes. What and how do you feel? That’s probably what your potential clients would be feeling.
We are all faced with tough decisions right now, and as sales professional, you have to re-position yourself to your client’s needs, by ensuring you’re propelling them to the brighter future they have in mind even in this new normal. If you understand the challenges they’re facing and what is important to them in the moment, you’ll build long lasting trust and rapport. Getting a call from a sales person who doesn’t care one iota about how things have changed for them or what their current needs are will land you in the “stop emailing me” bucket.
The next phase of this process is connecting to your clients. And, to do this, your tone of communication must be rightly set to fit into the new normal. Connecting requires speaking to your clients in a way that acknowledges the fact that it’s a tough situation we’re pushed into right now. Strike a balance; don’t be too positive and, at the same time, overly negative. Be genuine in your connection, and also communicate a taste of hope.
At this point, cease from what you want to achieve. Concentrate on what the client wants. Identify what your clients want, concentrate on it, and connect to it genuinely.
In this stay/work from home system, you can;
- Connect more through video (have a virtual coffee!)
- Ensure you keep a smiling face
- Keep your energy up and be someone they look forward to engaging with
If there is a time you need to show care even as sales personnel, this is the time! So many times, we are drawn to explaining who we are and how much we’ve achieved that we forget to know what’s going through a client’s mind.
Your elevator speech, how long you’ve been in business, and most else don’t count at this point. Show your clients how well you care for them and their success in this new normal and beyond.
It’s essential to make it very easy for clients to take action. We are in a time where feelings, anxiety, and fear are on the increase.
You want people to decide to buy your product and services, right? Give them an avenue to take action immediately and efficiently.
If you’re currently in the market, here are some things you can do to put yourself above the others. With all of the layoffs, it’s competitive out there and you want to stay relevant in the market.
1. Make use of your downtime
If you were part of the COVID layoffs, you’ve got some time on your hands. It’ll be a good use of time to get your resume up-to-date, as well as your LinkedIn profile. Be thorough in your achievements and accomplishments! I also recommend reading as much as possible. Now is the time to advance your skills and expertise, and show that you took advantage of an imperfect situation.
2. Concentrate on industries that are employing
We know the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has hit a lot of industries so hard. However, not all are severely affected. So, there are good chances of securing a job.
Set your gaze on companies or industries hiring, not just on any kind of industry. For example; marketing personnel will most likely not be needed in the airline sector but maybe highly required in a food company.
Do some research and pinpoint sectors with vacancies. Match those positions with your capabilities and put in for your best fit.
3. Go the extra mile
It’s no more business as usual. In this new normal, adaptive skills are highly needed to thrive in the sales world. Consider going for skill acquisition, online courses that will give a significant boost to your resume. I also highly recommend to make yourself stand out if you are applying for jobs during these times. Employers are getting overwhelmed by applicants, and it can be a challenge to sift through finding the most qualified. Hand write a personal note in the mail, send a LinkedIn message, do something to distinguish yourself from the rest and it will go a long way.
Regardless if you’re navigating selling through COVID, or selling yourself in an interview, get those sales done and shower me with your progress!