Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll notice the abundance of societal disruption in our daily lives that we simply cannot control.
Even with all this craziness (and maybe even because of all this craziness), the world needs sales professionals.
But maintaining a strong sales mindset while some sales centers are closed, while sales teams are going virtual, and while entire cities are quarantining is challenging, to say the least.
Before we go any further, I want to challenge the very notion that “social distancing” implies.
Ben Carrington, associate professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, summed it up brilliantly:
This is true for all of us. And it is especially true for the relationship between you and your customers.
Let me offer you four ways to maintain a strong sales mindset and strong sales relationships during this time of social distancing:
1. Increase your Gratitude
Top sales pros aren’t just great at what they do; they are grateful for getting to do it. We get to sell things. We get to make a difference in people’s lives.
Starting each day with gratitude centers us. It gives us balance and perspective. A spirit of gratefulness keeps us from becoming bitter and entitled.
Always maintain an attitude of gratitude!
Suggestion: go through your contacts 📱 and text 3-5 customers who recently purchased from you. Focusing on your own gratitude as you do so.
2. Build Deeper Relationships
Sales professionals around the world are quickly adjusting to new reality; they have moved into the world of the virtual sales conversation.
But the fundamental principles of the sales process haven’t changed. That means it all begins by crossing that critical bridge that we call trust.
How do we build that trust-based rapport upon which all sales presentations are built?
I believe the best way to do that is to mimic face-to-face conversations as best we can.
The answer: video chats.
I don’t know how much video conversations through Zoom or FaceTime are a part of your sales practices already.
Whatever that amount is, triple it. (Unless you weren’t doing any at all. In that case quadruple it!)
Your customer doesn’t just need your product or service. Your customer needs YOU!
You have the ability to manage the emotional altitude of the process, but you need to be as present as you can be in order to do so.
3. Control the Next Step of the Sale
Great salespeople go absolutely bonkers when they feel that they are not in control.
Put another way: great salespeople are control freaks.
They want to be able to call the shots when it comes to creating their own success.
In order to stay in control, they never put the onus of the next step on the buyer.
Top sales performers cringe at the very idea of a salesperson saying, “Think about it and get back to me next week.”
That sentiment is like nails on a chalk board.
Giving control over to the buyer is not only unprofessional, it is unproductive and potentially deadly to the sale.
More than that, it’s rude. Forcing the customer to make the next move is just another form of high-pressure sales.
But please, do not do it without empathy. Brené Brown describes empathy as “feeling with people.”
That means you have to care. Yes, I actually mean that. Great salespeople get invested in their customer and are led by empathy.
4. Dive Headlong Into Personal Growth
Look, I’m just as tempted as anyone else to curl up on the couch with chips and salsa and binge watch that latest Netflix show.
After all, I have all this new “free” time on my hands.
But what a wasted opportunity. This is a fantastic time to expand your brain.
Great salespeople aren’t just hungry for the next sale. They are hungry to improve their life.
Here’s a radical idea: read a book!
Read on self-improvement. Read inspiring biographies. Read a perspective that is 180 degrees different than your own.
Sometimes we can become complacent. I don’t think you can totally avoid complacency, but the trick is to not stay there.
When you notice yourself drifting into complacency, acknowledge it and redirect yourself to do something that helps you maintain a strong sales mindset during this time of social distancing.
My sales friends – the world needs you. Which means you need to keep showing up and keep bringing your fearless sales mindset.
Maintain your hunger for new goals and your own personal growth.
Stay safe, wash your hands, treat each other well. (Seriously!)
I’ll keep doing what I’m doing if you keep doing what you’re doing!
Even in times of uncertainty — learn more to earn more.