Salespeople are resilient by nature. A career in sales comes with a large dose of rejection, sometimes daily. What we can’t allow is to be defeated by this challenge. No question the pandemic has changed the market environment and requires service sales people to adapt. What hasn’t changed is the need to generate sales. You need them to generate business to sustain your income, and so does your company.
On the positive side most equipment and systems need to be maintained and serviced regardless of the business environment. What may have changed is a firm’s financial situation or the occupancy in their facility. It’s also likely that if you’re calling on property managers, administrators, or people in general management they may be working from home. If you’re comfortable you may offer to go to their site when they can’t to look at their service issue. With that said your first responsibility is you, your family, friends and coworkers. You should always be wearing a mask. Don’t think twice if a customer suggests you don’t have to wear one. That’s your decision not theirs.
Prospecting – It’s imperative that you examine your current prospecting strategy to make sure you have a plan in place to fill your pipeline with solid proposals. If you have a cold calling component in your current approach it needs to be addressed. It’s not a logical strategy now, or in the coming months. The same goes for conferences, seminars, or attending local association meetings in your search for leads.
We now must depend on the phone, email, and social networking sites. One key prospecting strategy that should still generate quality leads is technicians and inside sales support people. Now more than ever they need to be all eyes and ears when meeting with, or speaking with current of prospective clients.
Empathy – How we deal with the current situation is personal. The person you are trying to connect with or speaking with may have a close friend or family member that has experienced the virus or lost their job. Keep your interaction on a human level. This is a time for conversation not a scripted sales call. It’s likely that the person you are communicating with is working from home. They may be more open to conversation than in a business setting. It’s a great opportunity to build a relationship, rather than come on
Focus – Your greatest challenge may be keeping your energy up and focusing on your task every day. It’s not easy, but you need to tune out the political noise, negative opinions, and a multitude of other reasons that provide an excuse to glide through another unproductive day. Bad days turn into lost weeks and will catch up with you. The reality in a sales career is it’s all about the numbers.