Building and growing relationships is more crucial now than ever.
It is no secret that if you build a relationship with a prospect/client, they can make the sales process easier and become a valuable champion moving forward. Since everyone and every company is being affected differently by COVID, it is valuable having conversations with prospects you have strong relationships with. These people may be willing to give you their time during a pandemic while providing you clear and candid views on what they are experiencing. During a time of extreme uncertainty, this is really all you can ask for.
Now is the time, more than ever, to connect on a personal level.
I try to start almost every initial call with 5-10 minutes chatting about the new normal and asking questions about a prospect’s experiences with COVID-19. Before the pandemic, this time was often spent talking about the weather and not much else. Now I find I could spend hours with each person I talk to about our experiences over the last few months. Spending 5-10 minutes at the beginning of a call or demo really breaks down walls and changes the tone with that contact moving forward.
Never forget, these are people going through this rough time just like anyone else. Talk to them about their experiences over the last few months that do not have to do with work. Ask them to share their personal perspective on what their company needs, and share some ideas on how you’ve seen other companies navigate the situation. Each conversation is a chance for you to build more trust. Although getting the sale is harder than ever, even a helpful insight you can offer will go a long way to keeping the deal alive as your industry recovers.
Lock in the value prop your solution while getting creative in other areas.
COVID-19 has really shown me that despite all of the challenges for everyone and every company, there is still an incredibly high level of interest in Jones. Jones provides a liability management solution that streamlines normally painful workflows for commercial real estate professionals. Despite many CRE companies directly losing revenue from COVID, they still see the value in how we can add efficiency to their day-to-day while lowering their risk & liability exposure with vendors and tenants.
At first, I contemplated what messaging I should change in my pitches to enhance the Jones value proposition during the pandemic. I soon realized that I had to do nothing of the sort. The smartest thing you can do is understand the problems your prospects are experiencing due to COVID, and just how you present the value created by your solution. The general rule of thumb is: Fall in love with your customer’s problems, not with your solution. With that being said, I have seen the benefit and appreciation from prospects when Jones can get creative/flexible around implementation and billing during COVID-19.
The good news about all of this is that you can implement these suggestions rather easily. In fact, they will make any sales professional better in the long run, even when COVID-19 is behind us. There will always be lasting value in building relationships, relating to everyone you talk to at a personal level, and locking in on your company’s value proposition. Though these suggestions are relatively simple, sales as a whole is admittedly hard and even harder during COVID-19. If you can make these 3 things a focus in your day-to-day, your long term success is not only possible, but likely.
Good luck everyone.