The act of selling goods and services in person has been around for centuries – let’s be honest, even cavemen bartered with each other!
When Benjamin Franklin founded America’s oldest insurance company in 1752, sales representatives would make monthly, in-person visits to collect monthly payment.
Selling to customers face to face has been the norm forever. But we’ve all learned this year, that 2020 isn’t normal, and being forced to embrace change and quickly adapt is expected of all of us. And, even though our economy is struggling and many businesses have, unfortunately, had to shutter, people are still out there making virtual sales call!
If you are part of a sales team or own your own business, then you 100 percent understand how tough this year has been for financial growth. To help ease the pain, we reached out to our top sales executives at SAGE to offer words of wisdom to help you close the deal.
Here are 3 tips to help you sell with certainty during uncertain times.
Pivot and Adapt
If it’s one thing Blake Bozeman, Director of Sales at SAGE, has learned this year, it’s to pivot:
“I think if we’ve all learned anything during this uncertain time this year, it’s the importance of the ability to pivot, adapt, and learn new ways to thrive. The way everything ‘shutdown’ in late March was an unprecedented time for businesses. While some put everything on hold to simply wait for things to get ‘back to normal,’ many pivoted to continue selling in order to survive. As a result, many of those have had their best year and have actually thrived during this time which is amazing!
For many, it was also a good time to reset, change business plans, improve their web presence, and business services. These have become more important than ever in this time of uncertainty, and thus a great opportunity to be more confident than ever when speaking with customers about providing value that will positively impact their businesses. It’s never been more rewarding.”
Seek Out New Opportunities
To quote Chinese Strategist Sun Tzu, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity,” said Ryan Hanchey, Sr. Sales Manager – Distributor Sales at SAGE.
Sales teams have drastically had to change selling strategies and seek out new opportunities. It’s been a trying time indeed, but it also has been a chance to try something new. Change can lead to new opportunities, which is something many companies have recognized.
“There is still a lot of opportunity out there and it’s only going to increase,” said Ryan. “Consumers are looking for new companies to do business with, which is a great opportunity for distributors and their customers. Businesses are looking for ways to motivate their employees from home and many others have new needs for products like PPE and directional signage that they’ll be reordering on a regular basis. These are all good things for our industry.”
Below is a list of industries that are still operating amidst the pandemic! Hopefully, this will help ignite potential opportunities that will increase sales and improve business development.
Empathy Always Wins
People are vulnerable. They have lost a lot this year – financially and emotionally. Before you call a business to pitch an offer, remember an empathetic tone is critical. This is not the time to hard-sell anyone right now.
“Always be empathetic,” explained Ryan. “In a negative environment, being positive makes you stand out and be memorable.”
Although you should remain professional on the phone or during a Zoom call, it’s okay to ask questions before you pitch a product or service. Ask how they are doing? How’s their week going? And… listen to what they have to say! People just want to feel heard, especially during such an unprecedented era.
Yes, sales are extremely important to help make a business thrive. But, we all have experienced change, and pivoting your sales plan is absolutely necessary when trying to weather this “storm.”
Have you learned other sales tactics that have helped your team thrive this year? Share them by commenting below!