Lately, we’ve been doing things differently. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to change their approach to shopping, traveling, working, and even spending time with loved ones. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like life will be returning to normal any time soon.
This means you’ll need to be bold and creative as you seek new opportunities.
Your typical sales strategy might not be as effective now that your potential customers are facing new challenges and pulling the purse strings a little tighter. To keep your own business moving forward, you’ll really need to focus on providing undeniable value and putting the customer’s needs first.
One way to do this is by evaluating your current value proposition statements. Make sure you are accomplishing the following with each statement:
- Highlight the overall value of the product, solution, or service
- Explain why the product, solution, or service stands out from the competition
- Show the customer how your product, solution, or service will solve a business problem or alleviate one of their pain points
Taking some time to adapt these value proposition statements to the current climate can help you get on the track to sales success.
Mark Hunter, author of books such as High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results and A Mind for Sales: Daily Habits and Practical Strategies for Sales Success, has some great tips for navigating sales obstacles and overcoming objections during a pandemic. Learn more about these here:
Here are five more ideas to help inspire you:1. Reach Out to Past Leads
Try reaching out to past leads who didn’t buy from you. When you call, start by checking in. Ask a simple question such as, “I wanted to call to check in, how are you doing?” Be sure to pay close attention to their response. Customers will often tell you their needs, pains, and how to sell to them, but you’ll miss these key points if you’re too distracted by planning your next move.
2. Upsell Existing Customers
Building upon existing relationships is far easier and more cost-effective than attracting new customers. This is partly because your existing customers already trust you, whereas a new one would first need to be convinced that you are trustworthy. So, reach out to your current customers. Set up a virtual coffee meeting or a time to just chat. When that time comes, talk to the customer about their situation and give honest, practical advice. You may find that the opportunity for an upsell comes up naturally.
3. Ask for Referrals
When you’re checking in on current customers, consider asking for referrals. Start by devoting time to their success and the ways your service or solution has empowered their business. Give sincere advice to help them overcome the challenges they're facing due to COVID-19. Then ask for referrals to two people in the same vertical who would benefit from your offer. If you’ve done a good job, they’ll happily refer you to other potential customers.
4. Complete These Daily Activities
You’re likely spending less time driving to appointments and making in-person visits during this time. Some ways to fill the extra time in your schedule are by crafting personal notes, making phone calls, and posting on social media to let everyone know you are here to help. Here are some activities to focus on each day, during the time you would usually spend traveling:
- Use every social media, professional, or civic platform you can access to spread the word about who you are and what you do.
- Email suspects from your internet connections.
- Make outbound phone calls.
- Find moving targets and reach out to them.
- Schedule conference calls with networking sources.
5. Embrace an Abundance Mindset
During these times, you might be hearing more “I just can’t commit to that right now” responses than “this is what my business needs” responses. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlpool of “no”, feel discouraged, and feel like closing deals is hopeless right now. This is the scarcity mindset creeping in. When you flip the switch and instead embrace an abundance mindset, you are no longer limited by what you lack. Instead, you can focus on turning disadvantages into advantages and appreciate what you already have.
To say this year has been challenging would be an understatement. But we must persevere. As you continue to serve customers in your area, keep these tips for bold and creative selling in mind.
For more tips and ideas to help you during this time, check out these blog posts:
5 Characteristics to Help You Persevere in Sales
Four Ways Positivity Can Influence Sales and Overall Health
How to Make Connections and Generate Leads Without Tradeshows