Selling Through Uncertainty
By Katie Parr
The way people buy, sell, and work has drastically changed over the past eight months. The days of face-to-face interactions and handshakes have been put on pause, indefinitely, and many are wondering how to adjust. Is it still possible to build a pipeline and close deals in a remote and hesitant world?
In this blog, we cover tactics to use to break through the noise and forge better connections, so whether you’re selling software or public relations services, keep on reading.
It was a drastic change for a lot of people when we were forced to transition into working remotely at the beginning of the pandemic. One of the biggest challenges to focus on and overcome was trying to organize our personal lives. If you’re trying to balance kids on your lap or help them with remote learning, while also trying to close deals, it’s going to get chaotic—fast. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t do those things, but you’ll want to stay focused on the right tasks at the right time to avoid burning out. Book out time in your calendar to know when you’ll be focused on family life and coordinate with your partner or spouse to ensure you have your personal life under control. Then, when it’s time to get to work, go into a separate room to trigger your mind that it’s time to focus.
Related Post: How To Remain Productive While Working From Home
Keep Everyone Engaged
It’s essential for employers, managers, team leads, etc. to keep everyone engaged at this crazy time. Day-to-day work life can get really stale since we’re all at home. Encourage your team to be creative and have fun by changing their Zoom backgrounds to pretend they’re in different parts of the world that they can’t be in right now. You can also consider holding virtual team fun events such as talent shows, escape rooms, or happy hours. At PandaDoc, the entire team planks together at the same time for a minute every day. They hold daily stand-ups, 1-on-1s, and check-ins to keep their team engaged.
Sell with Empathy
We all have important jobs to do, and that didn’t stop being true when the pandemic hit. But how do we continue to sell right now without seeming pushy or insensitive? Start by focusing on the fact that we’re all in this together. Spend more time discussing how people are really doing, don’t just dive straight into your pitch. Some people might be doing really well and accelerating, some might not. Be empathetic and focus on how much you can help, not how much you can sell. If you truly care about the customer, ask great questions, believe in your product or service, and you never know, your solution might be the one that they’re looking for in this time of crisis.
Get Comfortable with Video
If you’re still joining Zoom calls without the camera on, you’re behind the curve. While the future is still very undefined, one thing we do know is that video is here to stay. According to Zoom’s Head of SMB Sales, Ben Volkman, a face-to-face request, even over video, is 34x more successful than a request over an email or phone call.
To ensure people are comfortable and prepared to be on camera, make it clear in the calendar invite that you intend it to be a video call so they aren’t put on the spot. Employers should also spend time outlining expectations for video calls, including backgrounds, dress codes, and decorum, to avoid any awkward conversations with HR later.
These are unprecedented times, so staying positive and making a human connection is more crucial than ever. Make jokes about your haircut (or lack thereof), let people know you might have background noise from a child or dog during the call—it’s okay! While everyone’s situation is different, we can all understand the struggles of the moment and it’s okay to acknowledge it and laugh about it with one another. These types of human interactions don’t happen over phone or email, so the uptick in video calls gives you an opportunity to build a new level to the relationship with your client or prospect.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 has surprised many of us. To help keep people safe the best way we know how, UPRAISE is offering any organization a free consultation to help leaders communicate effectively with their employees, customers, partners, and other important audiences. To get started, please contact us.