How to Engage B2B in #COVID19
I've been pretty on the record for being proactive from a sales standpoint during #COVID19. I think the area we can be the most proactive in is B2B selling. Again, I want to make the point that the likelihood of closing is less than it would be normally...but that just means we need to make more of an effort.
I wrote an article on B2B selling during #COVID19 and all of that holds true here. A USL sales rep reached out to me after reading and asked me what I would actually say to an executive when I reached them on the phone.
I'll tell you what I'd say, but first it's important to remember that empathy continues to need to carry the day. While businesses may be doing better than a lot of people are, businesses are still struggling. So what would that conversation look like?
Sales Rep: This is Brett Zalaski calling from the front office of the XXX XXX. First and foremost, how are you and your business doing during all this craziness?
Executive: We're ok. Hanging in there. What can I help you with?
Sales Rep: I'm working with a number of businesses during this time. Most of them aren't buying RIGHT now...but that's ok. They are thinking about the opportunities for their business moving forward, they know that when we are playing we might be an option for them, and that sitting down to discuss what those options might look like would be helpful in the short term. What are your thoughts on a quick 15-minute meeting to learn about what other businesses are thinking about?
Executive: I don't know. Now's not the best time. Give me a call back in the spring, or when you know you're playing again.
Sales Rep: I can understand that line of thinking. And I've heard that from others. Why we end up meeting now is to make sure you have the right information NOW for when the moment is right for both of us. Starting the conversation then would be very reactive to how fast business will have to move for both of us. Simply having a conversation now will get us WAY ahead of the curve. Thoughts?
It's tough. But it's fair and it's thoughtful, and it still leads with empathy. You have to be tough...but tough and empathy don't need to be two separate things. Have the confidence in yourself that by winning the conversation for only a meeting, you can turn that meeting into a sale. Getting the meeting is the hardest part. Above is how you win that battle.