Wow, what a challenge for great agile and adaptive salespeople today! Here we are in most places still working from home. Some regions are slowly opening businesses for customers. But health and safety of employees and customers is paramount. Other businesses are on the brink of collapse. Yet many businesses survive and some even thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know the challenge of disruption is not new. Great salespeople have always been agile and adaptive whether the change was gradual over time or catastrophic.
What Makes A Salesperson Agile?
Great salespeople are always on the lookout for new opportunities. The fundamental skill making salespeople agile is asking good questions to understand customers and prospects. Agile salespeople are interested in the hopes and dreams of their customers. They use open ended questions to determine the wants and needs of their customers. Having good information about the customer or prospect, the agile salesperson learns how to be responsive to their needs. And finding out there is no problem they can solve is just as important. Then agile salespeople move on to another more promising opportunity.
How Do Salespeople Adapt?
Great salespeople are patient and persistent. Even in the best of times there is change. When customers’ needs change, when an existing market disappears or when a new exciting opportunity appears, they pause, take a breath, plan how to address the change and execute the plan. Then repeat the process for the next customer or prospect. Great salespeople do not panic.
With the COVID-19 pandemic face-to-face selling has been put on hold. Instead great salespeople have adapted using safer ways to keep in touch with their customers and seek new business. We like meeting with key decision makers. We like seeing them in their environment. We like finding ways to help them be successful. We like shaking hands. Now great salespeople have adapted to using other tools to meet and interact with customers and prospects.
We are working from home not only doing our job but managing family activities. We can now multitask answering emails and helping kids with schoolwork. Perhaps we even share computer time with a spouse or kids. Traditional office hours don’t apply. And great salespeople are now responsive to customers whenever they call.
What Stays The Same?
Great salespeople know emotion drives the sale. Right now the emotion is fear. Fear of getting sick. Fear of losing a job. Fear of business failure. Fear of an unknown future. Like in other times some companies prosper and some fail during a disruption. Great salespeople are taking advantage of this time to give and get referrals. We help those who are looking for a job get connected with appropriate customers. And we are still asking for referrals from our best customers.
Great salespeople still live true to our values. We insure throughout our company there is consistent messaging reflecting the current situation. Great salespeople still comfort their customers. The message never changes: “I’m here for you. I care about you.”
What You Can Do Right Now To Be Agile and Adaptive
- Ask good questions
- Find creative solutions
- Build customer trust in you
To learn more sales secrets see Chapter Six, Characteristics of Successful Salespeople, in Secrets of the Softer Side of Selling. For even more sales encouragement, join our FREE Sales Club! “See” you next week.