Selling Shift: Pandemic Sales Require Patience
The traditional sales pitch changed significantly over the initial months of 2020. Or at least it should have, said Steve Heroux, sales trainer and speaker.
The reason is COVID-19, of course. Although many businesses and traditional ways of doing business changed, the impact on sales went deeper. Not only did business volume drop off, in many cases, salespeople were forced to adopt a dramatically different approach.
Almost overnight, the tone changed from pitching high-energy growth plans to sympathizing with clients who downsized or canceled purchase orders. Founder of The Sales Cookbook, Heroux will address this transformation during a keynote speech today at the National Association of Health Underwriters' annual convention.
"We can’t control what’s happening in the marketplace right now and we have to learn to sell differently," he explained. "If we want to get different results, we’ve got to change what we’re doing. We need to be different. Focusing on doing whatever you can to close the deal is just not a good way to go going forward."
Patience, Patience And More Patience
Health brokers who have gotten used to simply talking about size and scope of sales with existing clients are suddenly having new conversations that include rejection. This is the time to change tone and accept reality, Heroux said.
Marketing surveys indicate that as many as 70% of businesses expect to cut advertsing and marketing spending this year.
But with some good luck on the pandemic fight, the current economic recession could be short-lived. Now is the time to be compassionate and conscientious with clients, Heroux said.
"I think most sales people would still take a commission check in November. I don't think they're going to tear it up," he noted. "Who cares when you make the sale as long as you're providing value to somebody?"
While times may be slow right now as the pandemic appears a long ways from over, Heroux said extra time means added opportunity for growth. He plans to talk to NAHU attendees about making the most of those opportunities. For example, maximizing LinkedIn.
"There’s zero point to just connecting with someone on LinkedIn unless you’re going to contact them," he said.
Also, working from home means more time and flexibility. The average daily commute time for working Americans is 57 minutes. Take advantage of the gift of time, Heroux said. Read more. Watching a training video. Just do something productive with the time, he stressed.
"We just all got handed an extra five hours a week," he said. "If people don’t come out better on the other side of this thing, it’s their fault. It’s not anyone else’s fault."
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.
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