COVID-19 has forced sales teams to radically adapt. “Consider how important the handshake has been in sales culture for generations,” writes U.S. Chamber of Commerce Contributor Nicole Fallon in this article. “It simply can’t be replicated over video chat.” That said, relationships are still vital. How can we cultivate connections at a distance? Here are five tips to help pivot your sales process for virtually mediated business.
Use social media to its fullest potential
Social media allows you to stay on your customers’ radar in a non-invasive manner. Communication is especially important lately, as consumers face tough decisions about where and how to venture out. Social media is a great way to let your customers know what you’re doing and how you’re making your business ready and safe for them. It’s also an opportunity to support your customers and their businesses through likes, retweets, etc. These connections do more than build good will. They can also help with market research, networking, and knowing what your competition is up to.
Ready for your close up? On screen first impressions
First impressions are still important, even if they’re happening on screen. Invest the time and energy you’d spend on “quality control” for an in-person meeting. Professional appearances matter. Minimize distractions in your workspace and background and make sure your tech is ready to work smoothly.
People increasingly look to their smart phones as a first resort. Think about how useful and accessible your business is on mobile platforms. You should be providing a convenient, customer-service oriented experience that works on phones.
Provide value up front
Lead with value! Obviously, you’re always aiming to provide value to your customers, but the more immediately and proactively you can do this the better. Inboxes are flooded with campaigns, more so as business is relegated to digital interactions. Stand out by being helpful now. The ask can come later.
Listen and be empathetic
Emphasize efforts to understand customers’ needs. A good salesperson should always do that, of course, but it’s imperative now. By not doing so, you run the risk of coming off as offensively tone deaf or out of touch. Conversely, learning and responding to customers’ needs now can build trust and loyalty.