It’s somewhat challenging to produce any content right now (Podcasts, Blog posts, email newsletter) without the topic revolving around our current economic and pandemic crisis. I mean, I don’t want to be “ALL Corona, ALL the time” like the news channels are, but at the same time, how can you talk about normal sales strategy and tactics when nothing is anywhere near normal right now?
I’ve been focusing on sharing concepts that are always true, but especially potent in this environment. One of those is the resetting of expectations. Some of you sell things that require a long sales cycle. Others, not so much. Ultimately though, if you have a sales cycle that takes months, or one that takes days, you need to be aware of shifting sands and make sure you address them by resetting or reconfirming expectations with your clients and prospects.
In light of the Gaussian proportioned shifting of sands we’ve all just gone through, it is pretty safe to assume that it’s time to do that with your current conversations.
Assumptions are dangerous in normal times, but it is almost sales suicide to have conversations with clients right now that do not start with making sure everyone is on the same page. ANY promises or commitments made by any party before January 1st of this year that have not been executed upon already should be opened up and re-examined.
It’s actually not difficult to do this. All one needs to do is ask the client some version of this question:
“Based on the current situation, what does success look like on this initiative?”
The answer may come back as the same as what was previously agreed upon. That’s fine. You’ve still done the due diligence of making sure the shifting sands have not affected the outcome. There may be a new or altered metric of success. Even more powerfully, you may be the one that causes the client to think about what should change in the measure of success, winning additional trust by proving that you are after an effective solution, not just a sale.
That will pay dividends down the line, and protect you against someone trying to steal the business by undercutting price. Clients can always find more vendors. Advisors are in short supply.