December 3, 2020
Did They Forget How to Sell?

The question was simple; the answer was simpler, No! They never knew how to sell in the first place. The common misconception is order taking and sales are the same thing, they most definitely are not. Prior to Covid19 your pipelines were filled with highly engaged customers who were educated on your product by advocates, exceptional market/lead nurturing or their own interest. Now the dominant thoughts are about budget, safety and experiential quality. In most cases, the demand has dwindled despite having high engagement. The energy is different. Can you sell your wares now? If you can’t, it’s because you never knew how.

Persuading someone to purchase based on the merit of your product is the true definition of sales. It’s not reduced pricing or two for one, those are promotions. When there is a concern about budget constraints it's imperative you outline the value of your product, the features that benefit your prospect, benefits which go beyond pricing; prestige, convenience, experience or a combination thereof. This isn’t a singular conversation. It’s about being in the space where the conversation takes place, adding value and being recognized as an expert.

In a pandemic, it may be a matter of safety. Selling on the merit of your wares may be about protocols and procedures but what if it’s not. Then it’s simple risk assessment and mitigation. Obviously, you will never endanger a prospect but you may need to overcome unfounded or unrealistic trepidation. How? Always remember emotion will trump logic. Do you remember your last experience? How did it feel? How did it change your life? What were the ancillary benefits? Put your prospect in a place where the risk is worth the reward. Concerns should be addressed and resolved. Hysteria replaced with solutions and pleasant memories.

The last real objection revolves around the quality of the service or experience. Has Covid19 changed how I will experience your product? Short answer, Yes, and so what? If you are selling on the merit of your wares then sell on the merits in the current state. Don’t be afraid because it won’t be like the last time. Everything has changed but this product still has value. You’re not purchasing the old product you’re purchasing the new version in a new environment and that’s what we’re selling. It’s a simple shift in perspective. The best methodology will always be the truth.

Understanding and facilitating the customers’ journey will always distinguish order takers from salespeople. Introduce yourself with the same energy regardless of the prevailing sentiment of the marketplace. Understand the issues or concerns your prospect is trying to resolve. Present your solution highlighting where it resolves their issues. Be an accessible expert resource. Make sure they are satisfied with your offering. Prove you listened, you care and you’re here to help. The journey will naturally conclude in a sale if you execute at a high level. Customers aren’t walking in and making a purchase these days. The journey is longer and more complex. You have to remind them why they should buy. Make it easy and comfortable for them. You need to sell. Order taking was so 2019. 2020 was the year of the sales professional. Let’s see what you do in 2021.

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