For all the destruction and change it has caused, the Covid-19 pandemic has not, and never will change the essence of the way we sell. People will continue to buy from people. No amount of online shopping will stop those personal transactions from happening. This is especially true in a high touch environment such as the B2B insurance industry, which is predicated on solid relationships and regular contact.
The only thing that has changed is the nature of our contact. Although things are reverting back to normal, we have moved a lot of our conversations online and still spend more time with each other in the virtual space than we do face-to-face. But the point is that the conversations are still happening and the relationships are still key. These are the basics that we need to get right to keep selling.
With all that is happening around us it’s important to keep an eye on the ball and not lose sight of the essentials of selling. Here are a few examples:
- Immerse yourself in each and every client’s business. Don’t only get to know what they do and who they do it with, but also their values system, goals and aspirations. Knowing where your clients are headed is extremely useful in terms of creating a sales pipeline for the future.
- Keep your relationships alive. There should be no difference between face-to-face visits and online meetings. Ask your clients how they prefer to deal with you during this time and going forward.
- Beware of overreliance on email. Try to speak to your clients as much as possible, rather than sending mails. It’s far more personal and a lot easier to get instant feedback. Plus you know for sure that your message has been delivered.
- Keep a positive attitude. Yes, we’re going through tough times – but there is nothing anyone can do about it. Focus on the things you can change and keep things moving ahead for the better. You must want to do what you do, not have to do it.
- Be the expert. Believe in yourself, your company, its people and its products and services.
- Take action. Be the instigator. Think of innovative ways to service your clients – and then get out there and do it!
Remember, all relationships start somewhere. Covid is no reason not to make those all-important cold calls.
Here are some tips on how to make a successful first contact call:
- Call objective… what is the purpose of your call?
- Who are you?
- What do you specialise in?
Avoid speaking about Covid-19 or any negative issues.
- Needs analysis
“Before I tell you what we offer I need to ask you some questions.”
- Selling is asking open ended questions
- 5 x W and 1 x H: What, Why, When, Where, Who & How
- Be in control of the meeting
- Listen carefully to what the potential client is telling you about their business
- Identify opportunities – do they need new or different products; can your system help them in their business?
“Now that I have the information I need, let me tell you/present to you what we offer and what value we can add to your business.”
- Your presentation needs to be a masterpiece, not just a brochure
- It’s not the potential client’s responsibility to read, but yours to explain
- Talk about what’s new or different in your offering
Contents of your presentation:
- Opening: You and your company (brief introduction)
- Body: Features and benefits… focus more on the benefits (value proposition)
- Closing (call to action): Reassure the potential client of your offering and value. Ask for business and try to get commitment to turn the potential client into a client for life.
Covid-19 is merely a distraction. There are plenty of potential clients out there who want to buy what you are selling. Don’t be put off by negative news. Keep focused on the task at hand and you are bound to be successful.