There are two schools of thought regarding sales and marketing right now and if you are a business owner, entrepreneur or sales professional, it's mission critical that you understand where you and your offers fit into the pandemic puzzle.
First, let's distinguish between sales and marketing.
Marketing is everything you do to generate conversations. Once you are in a conversation with a prospect, you are now engaged in sales.
Now that we've sorted that out, let's look at should you sell or should you go now (anyone else hearing The Clash song in their head?).
If, for example, you sell only to restaurants, bars, sporting venues... you either need to go away for a while or reimagine how your offers can be valuable to other channels of business.
If you sell online courses, business consulting services, software that facilitates virtual communication... you need to double down on your marketing and make sure people who need you now more than ever know how you can help them ...
I'm not a productivity expert, but I have worked with sales professionals, entrepreneurs and business leaders for more than two decades. These are people who need to get things done no matter what is hitting the fan around them.
Today, there are a whole bunch of Americans working from home for the very first time. With no clue what to do. That's not a criticism, it's just what is so.
Having worked in an office and, since 1998, having run my business entirely from a home office, here is what you need to know to make your work-from-home experience productive during this pandemic.
1. Set aside up to 1-hour to clear a space for your home office. Ideally a room with a door, away from anyone else working from home and a space with natural light. You're not building the Taj Mahal, so decorating is not the focus here. Think practical, tactical work space. Desk, chair, light, computer, phone, power strip, phone charger, microphone, virtual platform like Zoom for video meetings,...
Ok. Here's the deal. If you are picking up the phone to make sales calls the exact same way you did two weeks ago, you are in an argument with reality. Stop it.
This morning, yes, on a Sunday, I got a message from a business owner friend of mine. She has been inundated with calls from lenders who want to give her access to quick cash at insane interest rates. She's gotten LinkedIn messages from recruiters who want to help her staff up when she's focused on keeping her current team busy.
I saw Facebook ads today for Copper Mountain Ski Resort... which is now closed for the next week and potentially longer. I've seen other posts from coaches who want to help speakers get on more stages... (for all those events that have been cancelled?!)
So, here's the deal.
If you pick up the phone, post an ad or run a campaign right now that is all about you and your offer without any regard toward empathy for others, yours will be one of the businesses that doesn't make it through...
I get it, there’s a global pandemic. It’s real. It’s not to be taken lightly and it’s quickly changing business as we know it today.
Much of my business revenue comes from speaking at conferences. From there, I get hired for consulting projects and people enroll in my Sales Mastery courses. Not only is speaking a revenue stream, it’s also a critical component of marketing my business.
And conferences all over the world are being cancelled. Okay, Coronavirus, you got my attention.
Just days into the saga turning from “what’s happening in China?” to full on global pandemic, I’ve already had conversations with entrepreneurial peers and read their FaceBook posts about their plans to use this “down time” to organize their office, catch up on things and “get ready to get ready” for when this blows over.
That makes me giddy. I hope all of my competitors do exactly that.
Because while they are...
An expert sales trainer walks into a car dealership and... sounds like the beginning of a good joke. That's what happened on Monday. And, yes, I am the expert sales trainer... thanks for noticing.
It is my full time job to know all the tips, tricks, strategies, skills and all the other buzz words for "stuff" about sales. I study human dynamics and the principles of influence for a living. And yet... once I knew I wanted what I wanted, all of that went out the window.
I'm not saying I was sold, I'm suggesting that there was nothing anyone had to do to sell me... I had already done that all by myself. But, alas, there was a wrinkle.
The make & model of the car I wanted was in high demand and the dealer had zero incentive to wheel and deal with me on it. It was just enough outside my comfort zone that I wasn't willing to sacrifice other things to buy this one thing so I was about to leave disappointed.
Then I went to the ladies room. (not a strategy I am suggesting,...
Faking it is never good.
Get your mind out of the gutter... or keep it there, I suppose, but for a moment focus on the business side of faking it, then you can get back to wherever else you went.
Early in my career I remember a mentor telling me to act as if I had everything together and had it all handled. The problem was that I didn't... and I wasn't that good an actor. Instead of acting confident, what actually happened, is that people lost confidence in me the moment they picked up on the vibe that I was pretending to have it all together.
Yeah, that didn't close deals. It didn't get me too far in my sales career either.
What I wished my mentor told me at that time that took me years to learn on my own was to Ask As If rather than Act As If.
Ask as if you really want to understand your prospect's challenges.
Ask as if you are genuinely concerned in helping them solve a problem.
Ask as if you didn't already know the answer because you know how important it is for...
If I had a dollar for every time a coaching client asked me that question I would be buying a whole lot of expensive stuff!
Here's the deal. I could teach you all the right things to say to justify your price, but I promise you... if you are out there shopping around to get the cheapest price, you are not likely to use what you learned to say.
How you buy impacts how you sell. Period.
If you sell something that is considered an expensive offer in the marketplace, then your homework assignment is to go shopping... and pay a premium for what you buy.
You heard me.
(I should probably give you a disclaimer... I'm divorced... so, this particular strategy may be good for sales, not so good for relationships. Just sayin...)
Here are some quick tips to close more deals when you are the more expensive option:
It's been longer than I care to admit since I first had the idea of a weekly video blog series so today I hit the reset button and just got started.
I don't suppose you've ever waiting until everything was set up just right before you got into action? Yeah, me neither.
So today I re-decided the myth I bought into that I wasn't ready to start and I just started. The sound isn't perfect. The video could be sharper & the lighting has some shadows. The end even got cut off. I didn't even have the right software to edit out that moment when I'm walking to the camera!
There's nothing to buy, cause I haven't built that landing page yet. There's nothing to opt into because I haven't set up the lead magnet system yet. There's not even a website page... or a "stay tuned we're building the page" page set up yet. Nope. There's just this first video blog.
And that's okay because it's something. It's action supporting my new mindset that progress is the new...