How to close deals during a pandemic: Avoid these 2 big mistakes
Everyone is panicking. And with good reason. So, how are you approaching your prospects and customers during a time when their mind is pretty much guaranteed to be on the COVID-19 crisis?
Right now, people keep asking me the same question: How can I keep selling to my customers without being perceived as insensitive or out of touch with current events?
If this has been worrying you as well, you’re in the right place. As people send me their questions and concerns during this time of crisis, I’ve seen the same two mistakes repeated in many different sales teams.
Let’s talk about these two trending mistakes and how your sales team can avoid making them...
Mistake #1: Being overly anxious about how you’re perceived
Empathy is a huge part of sales. You need to build trust and establish rapport in order to sell even in normal circumstances. So, being extra empathetic during a crisis seems to be the natural way to proceed, right?
This logic, though sound, has many sales teams overly concerned about how they are perceived by their customers. They’re wondering:
- Why are prospects buying or not buying?
- What are their main concerns right now?
- What are their fears and doubts?
If anxiety over questions like these is causing you not to pick up the phone and close deals, then you’re making one of the biggest sales mistakes of this COVID-19 crisis.
Don’t get stuck in your own anxiety about how you’re going to be perceived by your customers, because this could paralyze you.
The solution: Communicate honestly with your customers, but don’t adjust your behavior until you receive feedback from them.
It’s okay that you’re not sure how to approach your customers and prospects during this time. If you’re feeling like this, be open and honest with them. They’ll appreciate the fact that you’re not 100% sure how to proceed at this point because let’s face it: they’re probably not sure either.
Here’s how you can approach this kind of conversation:
“Hey Mr. Prospect, I know this is a crazy time right now and I want to be sensitive to your needs. If you need help or if you need me to be quiet, I’m happy to adjust. I just wanted to reach out and see how you’re doing, what I can do to help, and if you still want to close this deal. Is making this purchase going to help you continue through this crisis?”
Of course, if you call 50 prospects and everybody gets angry with you, it might be time to adjust your approach. Just make sure you’re taking in whatever feedback your prospects give you: then you can adjust accordingly and keep selling.
Mistake #2: Assuming your prospects aren’t going to purchase
Here’s something I keep hearing salespeople say: “I don’t want to push this deal because I’m not sure if now is a good time for them to purchase.”
Yes, we are in the middle of a global pandemic. Yes, things are probably going to get worse before they get better.
But remember: This is not the time to crawl into a hole and wait for someone to tell you it’s okay to start selling again. Right now, businesses are still running. Software is still being purchased. We’re still closing deals right now, and you can too.
The solution: Find ways that you, your company, or your product can help them through this time.
Don’t be so worried about annoying someone that you stop serving your prospects and customers.
In fact, your product might be able to help your customers through this difficult time. Maybe you have something that will help them start working remotely, or maybe you can offer a product that takes some tasks off their plate and helps them focus better.
Whatever you’re selling, find a way to make it relevant and useful to your customers right now during this crisis.
Here’s the key: When you reach out, don’t pretend everything is great. Acknowledge this is a stressful time. But don’t stop selling just because you think they might not purchase.
We still have prospects in our pipeline that are interested in our product, and I’m sure you do too. In fact, we have prospects who are paying a year in advance for our product. If you keep working your pipeline effectively and focus on serving your customers, you’ll be able to do the same.
Here’s my closing advice to you: Keep closing deals.
When you continue selling and building your business through this difficult time, it’s good for your career and your company. But not only that: by continuing to sell through this crisis, you’ll be contributing to the economy and helping the world continue to function through the pandemic.
Are you facing a specific challenge during this time that you can’t seem to get around? Let us know.
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