Sales is hard. Sales is necessary. Sales matters.
by David Frew | 24 Feb 2022
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”. This is how Charles Dickens opened A Tale of Two Cities, in 1859. With the recent economic downturn, this seems just as relevant as ever. Businesses are reopening their doors, yet still wondering what their futures hold. Many of us in sales are asking ourselves what we should be doing, and how can we begin to rebuild lost business, both ethically and sustainably?
This uncertainty is so understandable. I hear it when I talk with my clients. I feel it, too.
But…we have to double down in our sales efforts because professional sales people drive the economy. Can you recall a more relevant time when the economy needed a better boost than right now? I can’t. At the end of the day, this is your job, this is your career, this is your chosen profession.
Customers follow by example. Many of our customers are uncertain, unsure and worried about what their futures hold and whether they are even in a position to buy our products / services / solutions right now. Regardless of that, however, they would surely benefit from – and appreciate – a positive conversation with a positive-minded, empathetic, value-delivering human being like you.
Uncertainty provides us with the opportunity to have a positive and profound impact on our prospective and existing customers.
Key actions and notes for the day (or week, or month, or…forever…):
- Now is the time to call and book meetings. Show sensitivity and be empathetic. Let’s face it, you are, anyway. Let them know you care, that you are there for them, and that you’ll also be there when this all settles down. Be sensitive. Be focussed on others. Be you.
- Your messaging needs to be sharper than ever. Get your favourite sharpening tool out and re-craft your message (sales story) so you lead with how you help / bring value / solve issues / achieve results.
- We are still in uncharted territory. As we continue on this challenging journey, we must continuously adapt. Perhaps Charles Darwin put it best:
“…the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment..."
Our clients are faced with new, painful challenges and situations. If we do not adapt and contextualise our strategy and words, we will lose.
Four things you can do today
When thinking about sharpening and contextualising our strategies and words, here are a few ideas that you may like to introduce to your messaging when pursuing prospective clients. I know that some of my clients have already found these useful:
- Let them know that you care and that you understand their world has become barely recognisable since March 2020.
- You recognise that this may not be the best time for a serious business conversation, or even an investment decision, but you wanted them to know that they are on your radar because they look so much like companies that work with you [i.e. your ideal client profile: the contact's position type or their company type, etc.] and who have already received so much value from you.
- Reassure them that you will be there when all the dust settles, and you welcome the opportunity to have a conversation to learn more and show how you help others in a similar situation [i.e. your ideal client profile: the contact's position type or their company type, etc.]
- Insert a few compelling reasons by sharing one or two specific and relevant issues you / your solution address, or outcomes that you create for clients, by saying something along the lines of...
“ I understand that things are a bit chaotic right now, but when you’re ready, let’s meet so you can see how we’re solving PROBLEM A and driving RESULT X for [the contact's position type or their company type]"
Now finish strong by wishing them well as they navigate the waters ahead and that you look forward to a conversation when the timing is right.
Planning for sales calls &/or meetings is a key element in our sales strategy, regardless of our sales process or methodology.
A Meeting Call Planner helps us plan which of those four actionable tips mentioned above we are going to use when we contact a prospective customer with our sharper-than-ever messaging.
That way, we can see more clearly what stakeholders expect from each and every sales conversation. And, they will also better understand how we are in a position to help them, even if the current timing is sub-optimal.
Don’t have a Meeting Call Planner? We’ve got you covered. Download your free copy of the WhiteBridge Meeting Call Planner. Feel free to share it with colleagues, too.
Good luck, and happy selling!
WhiteBridge is an Oslo-based HubSpot Authorised Partner growth agency that works with ambitious business owners, & sales and marketing teams to scale quick, effective and sustainable growth.
Many of our clients develop and sell their own innovative SaaS &/or software solutions, or technologies. However, we also have some great clients that describe themselves as creatives &/or professional business service companies.
Want to discuss how your business can sell more effectively, win more clients, and increase your competitive advantage?
Find a date and time that suits you best, and let’s see what we might achieve together…
In "sales prospecting", "customer acquisition", "prospecting effectiveness", "empathy", "competitive advantage", "prospecting", "building relationships", "new business", "adding value"
In "gatekeepers", "sales prospecting", "prospecting effectiveness", "empathy", "blockers", "sales effectiveness", "gate keepers", "building relationships"