Budgets have been slashed, projects put on hold, and face-to-face meets are off the cards. Time to double down on the phone work.
The good news? A lot of your contacts will still pick up and speak to you. Just be mindful of what they’ll likely need from you at the moment.
Here’s three ways that you, as a salesperson, can show real value to your contacts right now.
1. Show a little humanity
You might be thinking about ways to make a quick sale ASAP to tide things over.
My advice – just don’t.
Instead, break the perception that all salespeople only call with an agenda. Try not selling them anything at all. Just check on how they’re coping.
Here’s how I open my conversations at the moment:
“Just checking in, how are you today? How are you coping at your end?”
A lot of your clients and prospects may well be worried about their jobs. They might be taking care of sick loved ones outside of their working hours or coping with home parenting.
You’ll be amazed at how people will open up to a bit of human consideration.
One client of mine, the moment he heard my voice said, “I’ve only got two minutes.” But when I just asked how he was doing, he immediately relaxed. We ended up chatting for half an hour.
2. Share war stories
If you’re making a lot of calls and checking in with a variety of different people, then you’re in a good position to act as a best practice messenger now.
When your contacts do pick up, share some stories or anecdotes from other people that you’re speaking to, if you can.
A lot of them will be hunkered down trying to fight a lot of fires. Naturally, doing that all day can leave you quite insular and blinkered to the wider world.
Be a bearer of good news. Your contacts will remember.
For example – a contact of mine at a major UK supermarket told me he’d been so slammed in the last two weeks that he’d not had a chance to look beyond his workload to see what else is going on in the industry.
Any help you can give people in that position, any tips or stories, can be vital.
When I’m on my daily rounds, every person I speak to will tell me a little something. A trick, a ‘hack’, a nugget of information, or a process that has helped them out.
Provided it’s appropriate to do so, I will share that story with someone else. In turn, they’ll tell me something. And then I’ll share those two stories with my next check in.
Just remember why you’re calling in the first place; aim to help others understand what else is going on elsewhere. Be a bearer of good news. Your contacts will remember.
3. Share assets and reports
Not everyone is able to create amazing reports and original research. But anyone can collate and share good stuff from other people.
Again, remember that a lot of your contacts probably don’t have as much time as they’d like to gather best practice examples.
Here are some great resources I’ve found on my travels: