Navigating Sales During COVID-19

Here are some of the challenges we are facing due to COVID-19:

My life has changed. We are all working remotely. If we have kids, they are home. Groceries and meals are challenges at a different level than before. Toilet paper is a real deal! 

I have been watching the news and also am acutely aware of my surroundings. The cities are shut down, some states are shut down, my gym is closed, restaurants are only offering take-out.  I know some people who have contracted the Coronavirus.  It is scary!
On the economical side, the market has dropped substantially, layoffs are happening, unemployment claims are at its highest, I am starting to watch my cash flow. I am afraid I may lose my job.  I am facing economic anxiety as well.  

My business trips are cancelled and I may not travel in the coming months for work, I am not going to the office but talking with my colleagues via zoom.  With all this happening, I am sitting at my computer trying to determine how should I approach my potential client and try to close a sale? How in the world do I even ask my current clients to pay my invoice? 

What about you? Are you experiencing any of this? If so, here are some things you can do to navigate through these tough times:

Keep in touch with your colleagues. This cannot be stressed enough. Hop on and do those Zoom meetings. Focus some energy on taking the time to do the work you did not previously have time for.  Generate some creative ways to position your products, brand your company, and educate your customers about your products. 

Keep in touch with your customers. Recognize that everyone is experiencing a new way of life with COVAD-19, including your customers. Send them a simple hello. Ask them about their well-being and how their families are doing. Building and maintaining relationships are critical components of success during this time. 

If you are an employer or manager, please adjust your expectations on sales goals. Use this time to train your team and educate them on ways to connect and educate your clientele.

Open channels for employees to contact human resources and affinity groups in your organization. This is especially true of your EAP service offerings. And don’t forget to take your own advice here. Everyone is sitting in a space of uncertainty and may need some support – including you.  Buy lunch for your employees that are working in the front lines. Something as simple as talking about food will divert their attention from virus talks.  A hospital was offering grocery service to their employees so they can get their groceries in the hospital instead of going to the grocery store. 

Embrace creativity! Add value to your customer offerings. How about a Webinar? How about a virtual career fair? Maybe time to start a newsletter? It is very possible that you will not be gathering or traveling so plan your conferences virtually.  Start looking at virtual platforms for hosting your conference.  Make this an opportunity to attract some potential customers who in the normal course may not travel, but will attend your webinar or conference from their home offices. 
Keep your focus. Keep doing what you should be doing in your job. Customers do understand that while things may look drastically different, they want to know that you are still working. If you are communicating with the customers and they want to purchase your services, talk about your virtual conference, your new products, your vision for your company, and your true commitment to helping the customer with your vision. 

Lastly, stay healthy. There is anxiety. Fear of getting sick, fear of loved one getting sick, and there is economic anxiety.  Yes, go for that walk or maybe a jog.  Limit the use of alcohol consumption, see a virtual therapist, read a nice book, watch a movie with your loved one on Netflix. Mental health is very important.

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