Brennon Larsen is a Regional Sales Representative and has been with us since 2019.
Communication is so much more than words. Body language, eye contact, and all the non-verbal ways we communicate in our daily lives were suddenly relegated to a screen or a phone call due to the pandemic. Communicating with both coworkers and customers on a virtual platform was challenging. It was perhaps the most dramatic shift in conducting the business of sales within the Pandemic Workplace. Losing the ability to be physically together with our coworkers and prospects was something no one knew how to fix. We were all thrown into the Pandemic Virtual Workplace at the same time.
Our company, PathO3Gen Solutions entered the fully virtual workplace head-on by embracing technology and acknowledging that we needed to proactively shift our sales and communication efforts. We initially met company-wide via Zoom at the end of each workday to check in and remain connected. We then transitioned to meeting in smaller groups, by Division, team, or project in order to maximize our sales approaches, strategy, and deadlines, allowing each employee and department to give their key updates and ask questions about current projects. It turned out to be a great way for each of us to connect, see each other’s faces, and bond during a time of uncertainty. It allowed us to remain a team.
Here are 5 things I learned about sales during a pandemic:
1. We’re all in this together.
Be understanding and respectful of others’ time. In today’s work-from-home world, there are more variables in personal and organizational daily routines; made obvious by crying babies and barking dogs in the background during Zoom meetings. Be conscious of the obstacles your prospect might be dealing with. Be on time. Stick to the agreed-upon meeting length. Be flexible and understanding. Work hard to understand their timing so you can bring your prospects what they need at the right time. Humor and a smile go a long way!
2. Persistence is important, but Professionalism is invaluable!
Whether by email or phone, contacting prospects too often can be overwhelming to them and can make you appear tone-deaf. If emails are going unanswered, try a phone call (it is possible emails are not being received since all of our inboxes are overloaded due to the virtual workplace). Find the contact-timing “sweet spot” for each prospect. Be respectful by recognizing their time is even more valuable and fragmented as they juggle the constant barrage of people like you competing for it. Discovering how and when they prefer to be contacted is imperative.
3. Personalized approach
Create a unique approach for sales outreach. Know their business. Solve problems. Become a trusted resource, not just for your product or service. Sales is based on trust. Build that trust, and you will achieve the sale.
4. Embrace Technology
Let’s face it, (no pun intended) giving presentations and building strong relationships have always been more effective in person, but online meeting platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams have bridged the gap for in-person meetings. Technology is an extremely powerful tool, so use it!
Consistent and cheerful expectation is the difference between a successful salesperson and an average one. We are living in a never-before-seen global business environment shift. Every facet of our daily lives has been impacted, and regardless of how open a certain area may be, our lives and businesses have not completely normalized. Take a breath. Sales volume may seem manic in a “feast or famine” environment. Control what is controllable: maintain a consistent schedule, embrace a positive attitude, and sustain a great work ethic every single day. It will translate to more satisfied customers and co-workers.