Your customers are afraid. Their customers have put nearly everything on hold. Like you, your customers are probably at home, not at the office. They are trying to work from home, with family and children all around. This is not easy, and unless you have some experience with it, it will be a challenging pursuit.
Above all, they are afraid. Of course, so are you. So am I. We are all afraid. The times are not exactly reassuring.
So, what do we do about it? How do we sell in this environment? How do we sell in to fearful customers?
First, we need to understand this simple truth: This “situation” will end. The moment there is a vaccine – or perhaps even an effective medicine – everything changes. And all over the world, the top infectious diseases experts are working on both. Nothing in medicine has ever been worked on more urgently, by more people. This news is out there, but you have to look for it amidst all the doom and gloom. So, before all else, understand that the situation we find ourselves in is temporary. This too shall pass. In months, not years.
Next, split your product and service offerings into two categories: What can be sold now, and what has to wait until the crisis passes? Make a list for each category. You absolutely have offerings that are needed now. What are they? List them now. Stop reading, and list them now.
What needs to wait? Write it down. Don’t keep reading until you do.
Now (step three), let’s look at your customers. Split them up as well: who can buy now, and who do you think needs to wait until this passes?
If you’re not sure about where a customer might fall, default towards trying to help them now and list them in the “now” category. Please do this now.
Step four: look at your list of products and customers who you feel can buy now, mid-crisis…and…Call them!
Yes, on the phone. Talk to them. Ask them how they’re doing. Tell them you are thinking about them. They need this right now. Your customers need you right now. I think you should be making five to 10 calls a day. What else is there to do?
Pick up the phone and talk to your customers and offer them the products and services you think will help them.
Step five: Go to other list, the customers who you think need to wait until the crisis passes to buy.
Guess what I want you to do with these folks? That’s right call them. Talk to them. Ask them how they’re doing. Tell them you were thinking about them. And work on cementing your relationship with them for when times are better.
How will this work? Times will improve, in months not years. Offices will reopen, in months not years. Your customers will need your products and services again. Soon.
And you were the one who stayed in touch during the terrifying times. You called. You remembered them. Nobody else did. You did.
Guess where their trust is going to go? Guess where their business is going to go? Guess who they will turn to for help? Guess who they will lean on? Guess who they will thank with their money.
That’s right. You, that’s who.
Go help your customers. They need you. They trust you. The ones who can buy now will reward you with business during these difficult times.
The ones who need to wait, they’ll thank you with their money when the clouds part. Go help your customers get through this.
You’ll get through this together with your customers.