No doubt these are interesting times. Many small business owners and salespeople have been wondering if and how they should be engaging in a sales process. The reality is that the best sales activities work regardless of the landscape and business environment.
There is great value in connecting with clients, past clients, connections, and prospects. How you connect will make all the difference. The connecting should not be with the goal of selling. Connect to learn. Connect to empathize. Connect to brainstorm. Reach out to your community and see how they are holding up. Are they challenged or thriving? Do they have a need for resources you could connect them to? Maybe they just need to vent.
Remember that you have no idea what they are experiencing in their business, and in their lives. So, lead with empathy and no other agenda than to check in.
2. Consider new markets
Whenever there is an economic upheaval, like a pandemic, opportunities can shift. Clients might drop off for a variety of reasons. At the same time, new markets may emerge. Either new target markets will now have a need for your offering or making a slight modification can open up new doors.
Spend some time getting creative and innovative. Do some research to learn what is happening in the community and the business environment.
3. Keep networking
I can’t tell you how many people have told me their networking activities have vanished since the start of the pandemic. Okay, I get that at the beginning not much was happening. Everyone was focused on trying to figure out what was going on and how to proceed. Those days are over. There are plenty of virtual opportunities to network. And there are bonuses to this world of virtual networking. Not only will you invest less time because you won’t have to travel, but you can network on a national or global stage now.
You owe it to your business to explore the networking opportunities that exist. Find out what others are doing. Visit different groups and events. See what resonates with you and then attend regularly. And remember to follow up with the people you meet. When there are people who you feel a connection to, invite them to a virtual coffee call. Continue to build the relationship.
Sales is a verb. It requires activities. Those activities are NOT selling. I know, sounds counterintuitive. And yet, it’s true. Focus on building relationships, and learning about others. You will find that the right sales will come when you are intentional about your motives and your process.