Coronavirus, the elephant in the Zoom session meeting room

Many of us sales professionals have had a big hole punched in our pipelines & forecasts over the past couple of weeks.  So, what to do about it?photo-1584474263418-b947971ef9dc

Having an issue like this is one thing, however, those among us fortunate enough to work for seasoned sales leadership will have an opportunity to do something about it.  The word ‘responsible’ is a combo of the words ‘response’ and ‘able’, able to respond, over merely flinching and reacting.  Our sales tactics and strategies need to be adapted, we need to respond to this crisis with a plan going forward.  Having an issue shouldn’t be an issue as long as you are pro-active and responsible about presenting a plan to resolve this situation.

For those of you under extra pressure, get a plan together and work that plan with your sales leadership.  Do this ASAP.  Work the plan, adjust the plan and keep working the plan.

TACTICS:

I’ve been sitting in on a few webinars on how to sell remotely, how to sell during this crisis.  Some point to this being a great time to get back to basic cold prospecting.  Get your prospects cell phone numbers and reach out to them.  Some people are craving some real contact over email or text.

SOCIAL SELLING:

If you can identify the right prospects to reach out to, pro-actively send them LinkedIn invites with a short, but thoughtful intro line that will encourage them to respond.  LinkedIn caps your open invites to 3000 at a time, so use them!  Your LinkedIn network won’t tap out until you hit 30,000 contacts.

Strategically, your outreach and messaging needs to adjust.

  1. Think like a CFO – think about how do you affect the ROI.
  2. Acknowledge times are tough.
  3. Go through whole pipeline and re-qualify EVERYTHING.
    1. Have another discovery call.
  4. Lead with Empathy “Sounds like a stressful time for you?”
  5. Lead the call – if there is noise, call it out and mute it
  6. “Be the Expert” a’la Challenger Sales style.
    1. If you are not familiar with Challenger Sales, buy the book or search YouTube for tutorials.
    2. I know not everyone will agree with that specific methodology, but I find it useful in the tech sector, where we often find ourselves presenting IT executives with new ideas and ways of doing things.

TIPS ON VIDEOCONFERENCING:

  1. Dress well for Zoom sessions
  2. Camera ON and at eye level
  3. Have the room light in front of you, not behind you, use natural light if possible.
  4. The Economist half-jokingly said that you should have your home office backdrop  include bookshelves or wall hangings, not your TV as the size of your home TV is in inverse proportion to your social standing.

MODIFY YOUR CONNECT QUESTIONS – how has the virus / quarantine affected….

  1. Buyer
  2. Company
  3. Marketplace
  4. Industry

“Hey, how are things, everyone there holding up?”

So, lets get back to basics, call your prospects cell phones, acknowledge we are in some strange days and quickly move into business.  Set in-person meetings for 90+ days out but start the sales conversations today.

Yours in Sales,

Bob & the CTSP.

 

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