If you were to ask 10 superstars of selling, “How to sell in difficult times?” to learn what they see is working, the answers would be a gold mine of practical insights from the front lines of selling.
You would also learn two things:
- They each have a distinct point of view, and
- None of them pull any punches.
But this article is very different.
So I decided when talking to my buddy Joshua Desha to collectively reach out to some sales rock stars from our networks and the LinkedIn community to ask what they’re seeing is working in this difficult time.
Here are their answers.
Here’s What the 10 Sales Rock Stars said:
Richard Moore: More Time
In this climate, how do you humanely and effectively sell?
It’s down to one specific thing:
It’s more time spent per prospect manually engaging with them
because at that front end of the relationship building,
you need to be building trust more than anything.
People need to feel like they’re gonna be in safe hands with you
in an uncertain world.
That is the #1 tip: spend more time with your prospects,
do your research, show curiosity.
Bill Dolan: A Moral Obligation; Know Your Clients
This sales climate should be no different than any other.
And why is that? Because ultimately you need to know your customers.
You need to know your clients.
That means knowing their wants, their needs or interests
their fears, their frustrations, their objections.
Even their emotional state.
Because what people want are outcomes and transformations.
You have a moral obligation
because it means you can truly make a difference in the lives of others.
Ronnell Richards: Relationships endure. Tough times do not.
So everyone’s caught up in the moment and they’re saying what do we do now?
What do we do now — that things are different?
You don’t do anything differently! Here’s my point.
Sales success is a marathon, guys.
It is not a sprint. Alright?
What’s going to make you successful through this
is what you’ve done throughout your career:
Relationships endure. Tough times do not.
So my advice to everyone is: if you’ve been doing the right things
and you’ve been really focused on relational bridges
and building strong relationships with your clients,
keep doing it. Okay? You’re going to be okay.
If you haven’t been doing that, now it’s time to make the change.
Ahmad Imam: Share Your Story
So how do you sell in these times? Simple.
Sell you in these times.
Don’t push your business or your product or your service.
Sell and promote you.
Now there are two easy ways to sell and promote yourself.
Number 1: share your story. People love stories.
They resonate and remember stories.
Number 2: Ask for genuine feedback.
It’s a great way to get your audience engaged and to be involved in your journey.
Joshua Desha: Offer Value and Experience
Salespeople are doing the same old tired things
that didn’t work when there wasn’t a pandemic.
So why would they think they would work now?
If you’re not offering, as a salesperson, value
and an experience to the people you’re talking to,
you’re wasting their damn time.
Instead of making cold call after cold call to people you don’t know…
create value with them, give them an experience
they won’t forget, and create a long-lasting customer.
It will happen even during a pandemic.
Marcus Chan: An abundant mindset
There’s absolutely no doubt right now is a difficult time to sell.
And if we think about the top sales professionals right now,
they are still crushing it and simply because they have a different perspective.
They’re seeing the current circumstances as an opportunity to succeed,
an opportunity to take care of their customers.
The “average reps” have a scarcity mindset.
They are worried. There’s not enough business, not enough opportunity.
So if you shift your mindset to think:
”Okay. What are my customers thinking?
How are they feeling and how can I utilize this
as an opportunity to solve their problem?”
And make them a hero in these difficult times?
When you make that mental shift, you will see you are shifting towards abundance.
And as a result, you will solve more problems.
Ultimately, thrive at a time when most are not.
Ike Ikokwu: Be Authentic and Relatable
I think there’s three things that you should consider:
#1 is that you should be authentic: be authentically who you are.
Don’t try to step into the role of somebody else in order to just consummate a sale.
#2 is to make sure that you’re relatable.
That you’re relatable to not only the person that you’re speaking to
but that you’re relatable to the present circumstances in which we find ourselves in
so that you can build a true connection with them.
And then #3: make sure that you identify and deliver incredible value to them.
And if you do those three things well, I think the opportunity
for somebody to buy will automatically take place.
Dale Dupree: Experiential Selling
The best way to sell right now is to use experiential sales techniques.
Because what’s happening right now?
Everybody is doing the exact same thing.
The other piece of the puzzle is to use real empathy instead of fake empathy
because everybody’s using fake empathy as well right now too.
So between real empathy and experiential sales techniques,
those are the two keys and ways to stand out, inside of the crowded spaces
right now inside of your marketplace
and just in general — all the salespeople that are
coming out of the woodworks right now
that are pounding people over email and on the phone
because everybody’s hurting for a little bit extra cash flow
and freaking out about what’s going on.
Have some patience: double down on what you can control.
Stay away from what you can’t.
Give experiential sales techniques to your prospects
and start using real empathy.
Dusty Rollins: Provide Leadership
Recession is a transfer of wealth
from the timid to the brave.
What we need in sales right now, everyone saying,
“We need empathy. We need to relate to our client.”
Yes, but those days are passing my friend.
You know what we need now?
What I’m finding with my clients and my prospects:
the high-end business owners?
They’re getting ready.
What they want is certainty
and they want confidence. And they want leadership.
And it’s time for you and for me, the salespeople, the entrepreneurs of this world:
We need to rise up because that’s what’s going to save America.
Not the government.
Me: Connect with what unites us
Right now, I see that we need to really connect with
what unites us and connects us
rather than what divides us.
In other words, it’s not buyer versus seller
or vendor versus customer.
So, you know, it’s not salesperson versus human.
It’s actually person-to-person.
The people that we have always celebrated
and remembered and appreciated
are those that connected with us on a personal level.
And that’s where the focus needs to be:
Human to human. Person to person.
We need to wipe away the line that divides,
whether we are socially distanced
or whether we’re talking through a video chat or a phone,
the connection is stronger than the barriers.
It always has been.
And it always will be.