First and foremost, I want to extend my deepest condolences and prayers to every family that has lost a loved one due to COVID-19. The pandemic is taking a mental and emotional toll on all of us. It has engulfed our nation and our healthcare system is overwhelmed and collapsing. We have lost loved ones and are still losing loved ones. I personally I know that pain because I am one of the many people grieving the loss of a loved one.
In this article, I want to lean more on a social or ethical approach to selling and client interaction. In my past articles, I have stressed the importance that those in the sales profession need to be cognitive of the fact that as much as client meetings are business objective driven, the people in front of us physically, technologically or behind the phone are human beings with emotions. Times are tough, the economy is contracting, and all sector trading has been negatively impacted, some more deeply than others. But we must forge ahead. Where trading is open, I want you in the sales profession, the champion of your organisation to achieve your quota while doing it in a manner that leaves the client uplifted from dealing with you. Now, how do you do that?
Sales are aggressive by nature, but it is important to pivot your approach and be present to current circumstances. Consumers are overwhelmed mentally and emotionally. Your approach needs to be genuine and empathetic. You need to align your product and service pitch in a manner that speaks to adding value to your client’s current needs and problems. Talk to your clients, listen to them, understand them and their needs. Don’t push your perceived solution to them but craft your solution in line with where they are now. Meet them halfway. Your clients need to feel that you are helping them solve a problem and not as you are trying hard to force them to buy your product or service. In this pandemic, that would definitely give them the impression that you don’t care about them but you just want their money.
STOP THE COMICAL RELIEF
These are serious times and we ought to have a serious approach to the solutions we provide clients economically, psychologically and socially. This is a time to solve problems rather than to sell. As much as it is important to understand that we are dealing with people, remember that our customers, especially in B2B, are responsible for making decisions and purchases that are important for their businesses. More than ever, we have to take into consideration that many trading sectors are struggling with wage cuts in the midst of small business liquidations. We must have a win-win approach. Show your clients that you are in unity with them, are walking this path with them, and are committed to offering them solutions that are beneficial. Give them a long-term sight of your dealings with them and steer them away from the idea that you are only there for a quick transaction. It is now more important than ever to have strong partnerships with our clients.
PIVOT, PIVOT, PIVOT
As I have said, we need to pivot and recognise that the pandemic is having a negative impact on all trading sectors and that consumers have been hard hit economically, psychologically and socially. It is time we become more innovative and conscious in our dealings. What products and services are you driving for growth? What is your pricing? Consumers are downsizing on many things and are concerned about their savings because they are uncertain about the future, given the current gloomy economic conditions. Look into your product and service offering range and identify what is suitable for your customers’ needs and drive that. Don’t be disconnected from the current situation.
Lastly, I hope many in the roles that involve client interactions take this advice and implement it in their day-to-day trading. May we all continue to take care of ourselves, observing all the COVID-19 protocols and providing needed solutions to our clients and businesses. Happy selling.