About eight weeks ago the Super-GAU for companies happened: In times of the Corona crisis the distribution in companies seems to stand still. Joint customer meetings on site are no longer an option. No more friendly handshakes, no more visits to a production facility or eating together in the company canteen. Many sales colleagues are severely restricted in their work. But must this also be the case?
An rule in sales is: people buy people. But how is that supposed to work in times like Corona? Is it possible to create personal sympathy via LinkedIn, Skype and Co? Many sales colleagues see this critically and wait until the individual protective measures are relaxed. Deals are being postponed to the next quarter or, in all probability, short-time work is not being implemented at all. Unfortunately, this is partly due to the fact that beliefs such as "we only ever sold something personally" are an integral part of the sales culture of some companies. But the uncertainty among potential customers is also one reason why sales are not further focused. For example, some customers fear for their existence or have to reorganize themselves in the current crisis.
For sales, this means that the focus must be on the current situation. Especially we as sales people are always challenged to align the added value of our product or service to the respective customer and his situation. In good times we call cost or time savings the ultimate added value. This principle is even more important in times of crisis. The customer needs support in this special time. Why not take a look at the post-crisis period together with the customer? Perhaps together we can find a solution to produce more cheaply, reduce delivery times or avoid downtimes even in worse times.
That leaves the point of personal presence with the customer. Companies that have already largely set up their sales departments digitally in the past can now sit back more relaxed and do what they have always done successfully in the past. To "maintain contacts digitally", to provide customers or interested parties with information, in short: to stay in touch. Digital companies use a modern CRM system for this purpose, which not only serves to manage customers, but also, for example, by integrating social networks, makes it possible to understand what moves the customer or contact person and where we see potential for a conversation or perhaps even a sales opportunity.
Now is the time to be seen not only as a salesperson, but as a supporter who is interested in the problems of a customer and provides ways to mitigate the effects of this crisis. Regarding the time factor: I am firmly convinced that there is more time than we think with many contact persons.
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