I'm not teaching you anything new by saying that commercial activity came to an abrupt halt as a result of the health crisis. The number of sales opportunities has shrunk drastically and you are probably afraid of not reaching your sales quota. To help you see the little ray of sunshine at the end of the tunnel, we offer you in this article some advice to help you rethink your sales strategy during this period and allow you to get a head start when all this is over.
1. Keep in touch with your key customers and prospects
Selling is above all a human relations story. In order to anticipate the economic recovery and get back on track once the crisis has ended, it is essential to continue to maintain good relations with your most important customers and prospects today. You will be surprised by their reactions. They will no longer see you as mere suppliers, but as a true partner.
The worst thing you can do right now, is to completely cut off all contacts with them and not give them any more news. Do you think your customers will remain loyal to a brand that "abandons" them during this difficult period? Especially if they see that others continue to have a regular exchange with them?
The best philosophy to adopt is "think about serving first, sell then". Although your quota should remain one of your main objective, you should now think more about how you can help your customers and prospects who are facing a lot of uncertainty. Today, the main concern of your customers and prospects is to keep their business running to get out of the crisis. Ask yourself: what are their needs and how can I help them?
2. Rethink your communication
You may want to think about disabling your automated prospecting e-mailing campaigns that you have set up before the pandemic. These "business as usual" type communications may seem inappropriate. Instead, take advantage of this period to reframe your message and adapt it to meet the most urgent needs of your customers.
And if you haven't been talking to your customers and prospects for a while, it may not be the best time to get back in touch. Indeed, this may seem like an opportunistic approach. Unless you know your client well enough and are able to show enough empathy and emotional intelligence. It's up to you to see which clients it's appropriate to contact again today.
3. Keep prospecting... but in a different way.
One of the few positive elements of this lockdown is the time it gives us to experiment new things. So, take advantage of the time you are given to continue prospecting and not find yourself with an empty order book when you can get back on the road.
Of course, the way of prospecting today has changed. Where a few months ago the telephone and appointment scheduling were king, nowadays you should favor social networks such as LinkedIn to identify your ideal customers and make a first contact. This first step will make it easier for you to make calls in the next few months.
Also, take the time to rework your sales strategy for when the crisis is over. For example, have you thought about doing a "sketch" of your ideal customer? Take inspiration from customers you like to work with. This will help you to identify and find prospects who look like them.