During this COVID-19 pandemic, you’re probably wondering how you could possibly sell anything right now. And you’re right to be thinking about that, because the answer is that you shouldn’t be selling. Not even remotely—at least not the way you’re used to selling. Read on to learn why I’m not telling you to quit sales. Instead, this is the time to embrace what’s going on and make your selling practices human.
First, take a moment. I’m not telling you to stop being a salesperson. Far from it. Instead, I’m telling you to be a person with emotions first and a salesperson second. Every single conversation you have with a person should be a true conversation instead of just a sales pitch.
No one needs nor wants a sales pitch of “Buy my product. It’s the greatest and you can’t be without it. Don’t worry about any other product. Mine is the best.” They didn't need that type of arrogant, high-pressure sales tactic before, and they don't need it now. This is especially true when people are more concerned with their health, their family’s health, their income, and their company’s revenue.
Let’s rethink what a salesperson should be.
Understand that everyone is scared right now and uncertain. We ARE going to get through this pandemic, but it might take longer than we want it to. You don’t know exactly how it’s affecting the person you’re talking to on the other end of that cold call or video meeting, so start off from a place of empathy.
Do not start off with your spiel. Instead, ask the person how they’re doing and how this pandemic is affecting them personally or affecting their business. People are craving human connection and your job is to provide that and to be an empathetic human during your call. So, ask and listen and respond.
What do I mean by “respond”? If they want to talk about the pandemic and the struggles of working from home, talk about your own struggles with it. On the flip side, if they would much rather focus just on business, then behave in kind and go straight into talking about their business challenges and pain points.
As you’re sending out cold emails to prospects, your first thought as a salesperson is to tell them all about your product, right? If that's what you think, stop. Take your fingers off the keyboard and read this next part.
In that cold email, you should offer them information without a sale blurb. Seriously.
Start off your email by acknowledging that it’s a strange time right now for everyone, and that you have a PDF of some research or an infographic that might be beneficial to them because of their industry, or their top pain point, or this pandemic going on. And then ask them if they want to receive the PDF.
Once you’ve done that, sit back and wait and see if they reply. If they do, you just created a conversation. Send them the PDF—still without any sales pitch in the email copy—and ask them to reply with their thoughts.
I realize this isn’t the usual sales email tactic, but it’s one that establishes you as someone who wants to help and provide information, instead of being a sales shark who is hunting for the next deal wherever that can be found. This email tactic also establishes trust.
Be a Trusted Adviser
So, you've sent those emails above and the person responded and wants to set up a call. Excellent! Instead of spouting off the features of your products, ask the person you’re talking to what their challenges are and what their business needs are during this time. You may find out that your product is a perfect match for their needs. If so, great! What an easy sale.
But, what if you’re talking to the person and you learn that they don’t need your product? What they need could be something completely different that you don’t sell, or they have too small a team for your product to be worth it to them. If that’s the case, do not try to fit a square peg into a round hole and make that sale anyway and let someone else deal with it. Instead, be honest and tell them what they need and offer them advice.
What will that accomplish? No, it won’t give you a sale, but instead, you just gained that person’s trust, and the cost of that is priceless. They'll remember you and your company and perhaps send a referral your way to someone who is right for your product.
Reach out to us here at ConnectLeader today to see how to help your sales reps, SDRs, and BDRs increase revenue and reduce B2B sales cycles even during a pandemic with our multi-channel sales engagement platform, including sales dialers, sales cadence software, and intelligent lead routing. Simply click here or give us a call at 800-955-5040.