You need to put in more effort now than ever
It's undeniable the situation is difficult for everybody, so it's likely that you will have to try harder to reach your goals as long as the crisis continues. The circumstances are unique, however, targets for salespeople are hardly adjusted, making it even more stressful. With events, trade shows and conferences being cancelled due to a global lockdown, the way you connect and communicate with your prospects digitally becomes more and more crucial. Today more than ever before you need to put your time and efforts into educating your prospects on their challenges which will help you demonstrate the relevance of your solution. Organizing a free webinar or creating a playbook can be both good examples. They require a huge involvement of your marketing team to design valuable content and distribute it across multiple social media channels. But your sales team has an access to the most powerful asset - your existing database of prospects and clients, who can all benefit from free learning experience provided by your team.
Tip: Use this time to develop valuable ungated content to nurture your prospects and support them with navigating the situation.
It's a good time to build relationships
Loyal customers might stick with you during the hard times, others might not, and warm leads might cool down. Nevertheless, you should keep reaching out to your prospects consistently and connecting with them on a human level, so you can reap the benefits from that connection when the crisis is over. Even though it might be a slower time, it's important to build stable relationships for the active period that will follow. Besides, if you don't do that, your competitors probably will and you risk falling behind.
Here are several examples of questions you can ask your customers and prospects to strengthen your personal relationships:
- How are you holding up these days?
- How are you and your team dealing with this new WFH reality?
- How did Coronavirus affect your business?
- How have your priorities shifted since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic?
The most important thing here is to approach prospects with empathy and to completely forget about pushy call-to-actions. As mentioned above, it's a sensitive time and nobody wants to receive just another salesy message. The truth is, prospects might not be in buying mode right now, but they will remember you and that you showed them empathy, which will pay off later.
Tip: Work on your listening skills and make sure your prospects feel cared about.
Get valuable feedback
Prospects are home where you can easily reach them and where they feel more comfortable and ready to talk. Not to underestimate busy home-office schedules, but you can try to engage leads in a conversation about your product or service and ask for some honest feedback. The point is not to deliver a sales pitch, but to have a simple human-to-human conversation that will help you understand your market better.
In a challenging situation such as the Covid-19 pandemic, that is affecting small businesses in many ways, it might become clearer to prospects what solutions they need right now and also possibly in a post-Covid-19 world. You can use that information to improve your offering to fit the current customer needs and the time for communication is now. If you drop your prospecting activities, you risk getting detached from your prospective customers altogether.
Tip: Genuinely connect with your prospects, showing your intention to learn and make your solution better, not sell.