We’re currently living through an unprecedented crisis we could never have imagined—but that doesn’t mean we can suddenly stop selling altogether.
It’s critical that we move forward even during times of crisis.
There might be fewer prospects willing to answer your calls and respond to your emails, and in-person meetings might be off the table completely. But you can still continue to sell.yea
And more importantly, you can still continue to help your prospects.
In this video, I’m going to show you how to sell during crisis. Check it out:
How to Sell During Crisis Tip #1: Acknowledge the crisis.
Regardless of whether you’re talking to a customer, prospect, or colleague, it’s key that you simply acknowledge the fact that there is a crisis going on right now. This doesn’t mean you have to dwell on it or talk about it constantly, but you do have to address it—especially if you want to sell during crisis.
This is a scary, difficult time for everyone, and ignoring the current situation is the wrong move.
If you just try to plow forward and ignore the purple elephant in the room, you’ll make everyone uncomfortable. Everyone will be thinking, “It’s kind of weird that we’re having this totally normal conversation during what’s an obvious crisis…”
So simply acknowledge the crisis before you do anything else. Make sure that the situation is recognized, whether it’s relevant to the sales conversation or not.
Selling During Crisis Tip #2: Focus on them.
If you follow my videos, you’ve heard this a lot. While it’s not specific to selling during crisis, focusing on your prospects is especially important in times like these.
I know you are rightfully concerned for yourself and your loved ones during this time. So are your prospects. So focus on them, seek to understand how they’re doing, and talk to them about how they’re getting through the crisis. Ask them how their business has been affected by the crisis. It’s all about them.
This is not the time to say, “Let me know you all the amazing deals we have!” or “We have a great discount for you because of the crisis!” Oof—that’s painful. Don’t do that. Just focus on them.
How to Sell More During Crisis Tip #3: Dig deep to understand what’s really going on.
Your prospects have a lot going on in their lives right now, both personally and professionally. Times of crisis are times of deep uncertainty. Put on your psychologist hat and dig deep to understand what’s really going on in their world.
Ask questions about the challenges they’re facing. The more you understand what’s going on, the better you can ultimately craft a solution to solve that problem.
Don’t be shy about asking questions and don’t rush to the solution. Be willing to dig deeper and deeper to find out exactly what’s going on.
Closing Sales During Crisis Tip #4: Only present to their challenges.
During times of crisis, people are doing triage in their businesses. They recognize that there are certain problems they simply can’t focus on right now. There are certain challenges that they’re not even going to think about while all this is going on.
So in order to sell during crisis, be sure to only present to the challenges that they have mentioned. Don’t present any benefits or features that are outside of their top-priority challenges.
If you start to present to things other than what they actually care about right now, alarm bells will immediately start to go off in their head. Only focus on what they care most about.
How to Sell During Crisis Tip #5: Don’t get discouraged.
This is a tough, tough time. This crisis is affecting everyone, and I know for sure that it’s affecting you. It’s affecting your personal life and it’s affecting your sales. Don’t get discouraged. This will end. We will get through this.
Don’t be hard on yourself in times like these. Instead, focus on the work. Focus on the sales behavior. Focus on the activity. Focus on the selling and don’t get discouraged.
If a deal falls apart as a result of the crisis, you know what? There’s nothing you can do about that. Instead, stay positive. Remember that we will get through this together, and don’t get discouraged when things don’t go your way in the short term. Focus on the long game.
How to Sell During Crisis Tip #6: Find meaning and purpose in your work.
I feel so lucky that I have been able to focus on my work during this crisis to give me a sense of meaning and purpose in the midst of chaos. I challenge you to try to do the same. Find meaning and purpose in your work.
Sometimes we have to just put the news away and focus on what’s in front of us. Focus on what we can control. Of course, it’s imperative we all remain informed and do our part to end this crisis—but you also need to take care of yourself.
Find meaning in your work. Think about those customers and prospects that you can actually help right now. How can you make a positive difference in their lives during this crisis? Find purpose in what you’re doing and you’ll find hope.
So there you have it. Now you know how to sell during crisis. Which of these ideas did you find most useful? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.