Customer communications have been at the forefront during the Covid-19 pandemic. Early communications informed customers of what businesses intended to do to adapt to the crisis. Early Covid-19 communications shared changes in business practices and most reassured continuity.
As we get further into the crisis, we now need to start thinking about getting back to prospecting and selling. So how do you prospect and sell during a pandemic?
The first step is to ask yourself: “Does my product or service still have value?” If the answer is yes, does it have value during the shutdown or after. If during, well then you should be letting people know. If after, you should be laying the groundwork as States return to business.
I consciously avoided saying you should be out selling. The number one rule is to not be perceived as trying to take advantage of the situation. A traditional sales approach could easily come across as just that.
You need to keep in mind that tone is everything. Covid-19 customer communications need to lead with empathy. Many businesses and consumers are in financial crisis right now. This must be top of mind whenever asking them to consider purchasing. You should express concern for their situation, then explain how your product helps them.
As simple as this sounds, it is a powerful approach. Think of the difference between saying:
You want to buy some toilet paper? I’ve got a great deal for you.
I’m sorry to hear you’ve got to limit the number of people into your store. Would it help to have more toilet paper to offer?
Hopefully you can see from the above, the first approach expresses no empathy and appears self-centered. The second approach seems genuine and comes offer as an offer of help not a sales pitch.
We’re living through unprecedented times and communications are important. Most companies need to get back to doing business, which means salespeople must get back to selling. Remember perception is reality, be sensitive of tone, show empathy and let’s see if we can get revenue flowing again.