At the moment, your situation may not allow for selling like you normally do and most industries aren’t currently “business as usual.” But now is not the time to simply decide that nobody is buying and to sit back until things get back to normal.
The recovery process from the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact could take months. I’ve received some questions on whether or not this is currently a good time to sell. My answer, in virtually every case, is to continue doing what you can to make sales.
In 2008, the last time we encountered economic troubles, the sellers who succeeded most were not the ones who maintained their flow of communication, but the ones who ramped up their communication. The idea that you should be in radio silence mode is not a good way to move forward.
Here are three ideas to adjust your communication:
1) Connect with your current clients and ask how they’re doing. Get a feel for their business right now and assure them that your services will offer “X” or be available via “Y,” and that your products and services are currently unavailable until at least “Z.” Whatever the case might be, you must keep your current clients in the loop.
2) Don’t stop prospecting. Businesses should always be prospecting. But now is especially not the time to be tone-deaf in your outreaches.
Someone recently reached out to me on LinkedIn; immediately after I accepted their connection request they offered me support to write my first book. I gave them pointers for continuing their prospecting during these times, because they should’ve known that I’m already an established author. This is the type of outreach that demonstrates lack of research and sensitivity to what’s currently happening in the world.
3) Increase your messaging output. In previous circumstances of economic uncertainty, the top sellers increased their messaging output rather than maintaining the current rate. It’s not enough to continue prospecting, increasing your output wherever possible will maximize your chances for success.
You might be thinking, “My buyers’ industry is heavily affected by the coronavirus—I simply can’t sell in this climate!” I don’t want to pretend there aren’t legitimate challenges you may face right now. If you sell to restaurants or hotels, your client base has taken a hit. Switch gears a little and consider what you can do now that will pay dividends in the long term.
If the first half of 2020 is a wash because of recent events, what can you do now to set yourself up to maximize the second half of the year? Building relationships with clients, continually demonstrating you are a reliable source of service, and seeking to provide value to them will go a long way toward setting both your agency and your clients up for future success. The answer is definitely not to sit back with your feet up.
Colleen Francis, sales expert, is founder & president of Engage Selling Solutions.