Updated: Oct 14, 2020
“I feel bad to prospect during this time.” I’ve been getting this statement from many salespeople and some recruiters who I coach. Just know that prospecting has two elements. Hunting and farming. Hunting are those cold calls, emails and door knocking. Where we are straight to the point about what we’re offering and wanting their business either now or later on. Farming is more about building trust, sharing value and nurturing relationships. Farming is about planting now, and reaping later.
Now depending on who your target market is and how affected their industry is, we need to come from a place of not only compassion, but common sense. Are you going to pick up the phone and try to sell to a hotel at the moment? Mostly NO, unless you work in financial hardship. But if you have clients who are in this industry, the least that you can do is pick up the phone and show support.
“During this time, it’s the most altruistic salespeople who will win.”
Here are the three ways to sell during this time
1. Current clients and prospects losing their businesses
Reach out and see how you can help. Maybe they need someone to talk to. Perhaps they are overwhelmed with all the government financial incentive information out there. If you have some time on your hands, why not do some research for them and send it out in a simplified way. As I said these are not the clients to sell to. People know who they can trust in their most difficult times. Once they come out on the other side, they will remember the people who were there for them. But please be genuine in your approach. Because people can always tell when someone is doing something in order to gain in return.
2. Current clients and prospects who are in a place of uncertainty
These clients perhaps were about to buy something from you but currently put everything on hold. Or perhaps they have the budget but freezing all spending until they know where their industry stands in this situation. Many of these people’s biggest fear at the moment is, “am I going to have a job next week, month or year?” This is not the time to use your closing tactics on them, as even if you close them, you may put them in a bad position later on, and they may end up resenting you. Just like the first type of clients, think about what support they need and focus on giving.
3. Current clients and prospects whose businesses are booming
As we’ve seen, there are some businesses and sectors that are high in demand. Target them the same way you would any other time. With a combination of hunting and farming. But it will be competitive. So, this is the time to stand out, from the crowd. Some people have been doing this for several years, and are in a better position in regards to their personal brand, and authority in their industry and network. While others may need to start from the beginning. However, there is a but in all of this. It’s going to be tough. Because many of these businesses are going to be highly sought after. We’re heading into one of the most competitive markets ever seen.
How can you stand out?
Seek to help first.
Update your LinkedIn profile.
Send out valuable information.
Create or share valuable content via LinkedIn .
Get on the phone and zoom and meet people.
Be flexible when it comes to cancellations and refunds.
Reach out to people and offer your expertise for free.
Offer free trials, consultations, webinars, and courses.
Engage on your network’s content on LinkedIn in order to support or share valuable insights.
"When you sell in an ethical way, you’re not only helping yourself, you're helping your family, your colleagues, staff, and your company stay alive."
And at the end of the day, it’s important to stand out, but if your intention is 100% focused on yourself and what you can gain, it will be obvious. Always step into the situation with the intention of helping. I’m not saying to be Gandhi or Mother Theresa, because helping yourself is one of the ways that you can actually help others.
Some of the many industries, and sectors you can target at the moment
1. Food, hand sanitiser, and toilet paper wholesalers.
2. Hand sanitiser, toilet paper and cleaning product manufacturers.
3. Large and small supermarkets and convenient stores.
4. Telecom services.
5. Online niche retailers.
6. Cleaning companies.
7. Logistics and delivery.
8. Community services and development.
9. Health care sector.
10. Financial institutions (hardship services)
And there are many others. You just have to do the research.
Just remember, selling is not shameful. When you sell in an ethical way, you’re not only helping yourself, you're helping your family, your colleagues, staff, and your company stay alive. You’re probably even helping people in your business keep their jobs and for your company to stay alive. And if you’re selling something that helps people, you’re changing people’s lives.
Who would have ever thought that hand sanitizer can save lives?
As originally published on LinkedIn on the 26th of March 2020 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/3-ways-sell-during-covid19-crisis-rana-kordahi-/