There is a lot of chatter out there in the sales community about the implication of the current market situation, its impact on sales professionals, and what to do in the face of things. One of the key things a sales professional can do for his clients and prospects is to be a conduit to expertise, best practices and reservoir of knowledge that will help their client and/or prospect achieve his/her objectives more efficiently. In fact, a real pro can be instrumental in guiding and shaping objectives based on their own expertise.
This is important at all times, but much more so now with the economic realities all businesses are facing. Now is the time to truly highlight the value you and your company bring to the client. As sales people we are out there meeting with companies and seeing how they are coping with conditions, and in some cases how they are making mistakes driven by the panic in the market; or how they are seizing opportunities.
This is a great time for you to separate yourself from the also-rans by being a true recourse for your clients, letting them take advantage of your knowledge and reinforcing their decision to do business with you in the past, and to continue doing business with you moving forward. Remember, if their doors are open, they are buying and selling, the question is what and from whom, this is a great chance to step up and set yourself apart from the other peddlers.
Some things you can do to help your clients and add value when they need it most:
(As always, you need to be cognisant of confidentiality challenges)
> Call them, ask they are impacted? This includes prospects as the terrain has changed for everyone in the last few days. Monday GM was $8.50 today it is traded at $4.00.
> Find out how they are seeing things, what their customers and suppliers are saying, and share the same with them.
> Offer insights and actions beyond your product or wallet. IF it is working for one customer, it may work for another. Even if not, you will present yourself as a resource and build dependencies which will pay off when the need presents itself or the market turns around.
> Focus on helping them not yourself. This is not a sales call but a value building call.
> What can you do for them, especially clients who helped you by buying from you in the past.
> Ask if they are aware of who may find value in the type of discussion you are having with them, this is great time for referrals, and people are looking for security and numbers.
> Offer to introduce them to other clients who can help; networking business for you prospects and clients pays off twice.
> Hold events, webinars, where clients can network, you can learn and offer expertise or other experts in your company.
> Send out a newsletter highlighting client successes especially those involving your service product.
The reality is that this crisis like all others will pass, things may change, or they may not, but unless the whole planet shuts down, there are people producing, delivering and buying. Those that are proactive in delivering value to their clients will reap the lasting benefit.
Tibor Shanto, The Pipeline