OK, It’s all over right?. Nothing to see here. Move along and go back to your normal routine. If you or your prospect didn’t spend 6 weeks in a hospital room hanging on to life by a thin thread, then the best course of action is to just go back to doing things the way we were doing them a few months ago, obviously.
Yeah, not so much. Tone deaf isn’t a good trait for sales people.
The fact is that we are never going back to the old normal. Something like the COVID 19 pandemic and associated lockdown doesn’t allow for a return to the world before. Much like 9/11 or the JFK assassination, the COVID 19 situation altered our reality. We will settle into a new normal, but we will not go back to the old normal. Marquee events are like that. They represent a point of no return, a one way door that locks after you go through it.
So what does that mean for sales people? It means that many of the tactics and verbiage you were using before now belong to an expired reality. They will not apply to the new normal, and using them will make you sound outdated, out of touch or tone deaf. Sort of like telling someone today about a great update to your Myspace page, or your great Napster collecting of MP3s. It is no longer relevant.
One of the first things you have to do is acknowledge the elephant in the room. I’m not usually one for fluffy fake attempts at building rapport. Even the normal “How ate you?” that most people start sentences with is something I usually avoid. But in this new normal, I’ve had to bring back a version of it. Most of my new contacts now start with asking the prospect about their COVID experience. Something along the lines of, “How did you guys make through all this craziness?” is part of my opener now.
Two main reasons: 1) It’s a giant elephant in the room. I come off as callous if I don’t acknowledge it. 2) In the event they’ve suffered some sort of major traumatic event over it, I need to know that to pace myself respectfully in the conversation that is coming.
It comes down to this. Every script, every email, every message and every marketing piece needs to be reviewed and edited for cultural fit in today’s COVID world. Anything not reviewed and refreshed runs the risk of being outdated at best, offensive at worst.
Trust is an essential element to make a sale, and callous or oblivious people are not usually trusted. Don’t freeze up and don’t give up on proper sales process and science, but acknowledge your new reality and adapt your approach to it.