Selling is All Messed Up in This Strange New World. Here’s How to Make Things Right.

How were you spending your days just a few months ago?

  • Lining up sales meetings?
  • Traveling to meet with clients?
  • Having lunch with new prospects?

What used to seem so right is now so completely WRONG.

So you’re hanging at home, trying to figure out what to do next.

Here are some things to think about that will help you find a new direction.

1. Acknowledge that many of the things you did yesterday might not be right for today.

The world’s been turned up-side-down. Things that resonated yesterday, a week ago or last month may feel tone deaf today. It’s like Alice in Wonderland made real.

Good marketers and sales reps make customers their number one priority. It’s more important than ever to put yourself in your buyers’ shoes. How have the needs and priorities of your prospective customers evolved since coronavirus changed everything?

Ask yourself: Are they now dealing with more risks to their survival or have they been presented with awesome new opportunities? In other words, are they a catering hall owner or a toilet paper manufacturer? One is struggling for survival. The other is struggling to keep up with unexpected demand.

With economic changes as dramatic as we’re experiencing right now, your value proposition may no longer be right for today’s world. It could be time to tweak — or completely change — it.

Start by reviewing your buyer personas. Revise them if they no longer reflect the mindsets or everyday realities of your customers. Then figure out what value you provide to them in today’s world. Update your value proposition, key messages and sales process so they align with where your buyers’ heads are at right now. It will help you connect with them no matter how things change.

Tip: Day to day, nothing stays the same. It may be necessary to update your personas, messages and sales process every few months or more. It’s the only way you’ll be able to stay valid.

2. Admit that content that closed deals last month could close doors today.

Have you seen a commercial lately that feels really off? Maybe it features a group of friends hanging out together. Or people attending a sporting event. What used to seem like fun, now seems… dangerous.

The same could be true with your marketing and sales materials. Are you still using the same old stuff in a brave new world? 

It could be time to make changes.

The good news: Everything you’re doing now is virtual, so updating materials should be relatively fast, easy and inexpensive. It could be the most important thing you do. Being sensitive about how you present your business and brand could go a long way to bringing in new customers and not alienating potential buyers forever.

3. The things people object to, and the questions they ask, may have changed.

Do you provide sales reps with tools like answers to common questions and ways to deal with buyer objections? They’re probably no longer valid. You could be leaving salespeople in a vulnerable position if you haven’t rethought them based on today’s realities. 

Go back to your revised buyer personas and think about what the people represented in them could ask, or why they may not want to purchase from you now. Then come up with new answers and responses. Doing this as soon as possible will give you a jump on the competition and help you make more sales.

4. Change your tone.

In normal times, confidence is key to closing deals. Right now, it might not be. In times like these, empathy, honesty, transparency and vulnerability are more important. Train reps on how to make new, better and more lasting relationships by connecting based on common challenges. Winning is no longer important. Neither is being THE expert. Engaging in honest conversations is.

5. Location makes a difference.

If you do business in different places, how you market or sell in each may need to change. Trying to connect with people in hard-hit locations like New York could be very different from selling in places that have not been as heavily impacted by COVID-19. In some cities, life is dominated by the crisis. In others, it may be something they’ve only seen in the news. Your approach and messaging should be adjusted to address the sensitivities and realities of each.

6. Where are you marketing your business?

Have you updated your media plan? It could be time. Where people engage with content has changed in this environment, Use of “softer” social media channels like Facebook and Instagram is up. (People are looking for comfort and opportunities to share.) The use of job-related ones like LinkedIn is down despite high unemployment. (Who needs another dose of reality right now?) 

People may be spending more time keeping up with general news rather than reading or viewing industry updates. Plus, people looking for connection may be more likely to respond to email and phone calls compared with “normal” times. Leverage these opportunities to connect with more customers.

7. Never express frustration.

Has someone broken an appointment with you? Have you had a deal scuttled at the last minute?

In the old days, just a month or two ago, you might have been emotional about it.

You can’t afford negative emotion any more.

That cancelled appointment may have been because of a personal or family health emergency. The failed sale could have been the result of a sudden business downturn or failure to secure a critical loan or line of credit.

These days, consider it a win when you are able to maintain a connection with prospects or clients. Getting to second base may be the best you can do right now. The home run might finally happen after restrictions are lifted.

8. Collaborate, don’t pitch.

People are less focused than ever. Working from home while educating kids makes it hard for people to pay attention and concentrate. They won’t be able to take in information from traditional sales presentations.

Adjust how you sell to break through. Find ways to be more collaborative so the sales process becomes a sales journey you experience together. It’s the only way you’ll feel sure that prospects are taking in and hearing what you have to say.

9. Invest in the right tools.

Need help working and collaborating in today’s fast-changing world? Mobile Locker’s app could help. It provides everything you need to:

  • develop marketing and sales content virtually
  • distribute it to reps and train them on it any place, any time
  • monitor its effectiveness in real-time

The Mobile Locker platform provides everything required to market, engage, and sell in today’s new and ever-changing world. Contact a friendly and helpful Mobile Locker rep to find out how we can help you succeed in this strange new world of sales and beyond.

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