If you’re struggling with how to sell in these current times, you’re not alone. Many sales professionals wonder about the appropriate way to reach out to customers or prospects. Some wonder if it’s wrong to sell in times of uncertainty or turbulence.
Chris Donato, co-founder of the Same Side Sales Movement, admits he often rewrites his emails or texts to be sure he doesn’t come across as insensitive or opportunistic. These are unique times, and it helps to know how to appropriately and empathetically contact prospects and clients.
If you find yourself second-guessing your sales approach, keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today. We share Donato’s best practices for selling during a global crisis.
Remember there’s no right or wrong. Donato reminds sales professionals that there’s no clear-cut answer on what to do. Since we’ve never experienced anything like the COVID-19 global pandemic in our lifetimes, we have no previous experience to fall back on.
Be human. Since there’s no precedent, it’s difficult to make decisions. That’s why Donato says it’s so important to tap into your humanity. Before you take any sales action, whether it’s a sales call, a direct message on social media or a cold email, connect with what makes you human. Reach for love, compassion, empathy and fellowship. Donato says to let these emotions guide you in these current times.
Treat people right. It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing, notes Donato. Many people freeze in a crisis. While there are plenty of examples in nature that prove the best survival tactic is staying motionless, Donato says sales professionals shouldn’t stick their heads in the sand. Others are depending on them to grow and retail customers in order to survive a downturn.
Keep moving. Donato asserts that sales professionals must connect things that would otherwise be disconnected without their personal involvement. If salespeople don’t move with purpose, people lose their jobs and businesses go under. That’s why he believes that the best course of action is to keep going by serving others, solving problems and providing solutions.
Tips For Initial Outreach Emails
When reaching out to clients or prospects, Donato recommends keeping your communication to a maximum of three to six sentences. Aim to focus on:
Facts, not fiction: Stay away from words such as “feel” and “think.” Instead, Donato suggests leveraging relevant statistics, facts or news from the client’s business or industry.
Human-to-human interaction: Don’t say you “wish someone well” when reaching out to them for the first time. Donato says they’re not your friend—yet. Imagine they’re barely going to read your email. It starts at the subject line.
A short and sweet pitch: Be sure to keep your hook short. Relay just enough information that they will be curious and will put forth the effort to respond.
In these unprecedented times, there’s no guidebook on how to properly communicate with clients and prospects. The best guidance is to embrace your humanity, try to help others and keep moving forward.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Chris Donato is a career enterprise seller who co-founded the Same Side Sales Movement focused on bringing enterprise buyers and sellers together to drive business innovation.
Used with permission from PPAI Publications.