The Covid-19 pandemic is making it tougher than ever to make a sale. Customers are slashing budgets and postponing projects, and purchase decisions traditionally made by managers require executive approval.
If you thought it was hard to sell B.C. (before coronavirus), it’s exponentially more difficult now. The biggest issue is uncertainty: we don’t know what is going to happen in the fall.
Breaking the veil of indecision and uncertainty requires a decisive sales strategy: engage executive decision makers with a clear, compelling offer that speaks to their current business situation.
Decisive Selling means doing three things really well:
- Sell to the Need: Identify a problem or need in your customers, and be decisive in how your company will be of service.
- Sell High: If you’re not selling to the business owner or executive, you’re not selling. This requires gaining executive access and selling to decision makers that can reallocate budgets and make purchase decisions.
- Proactive Selling: Dramatically increase the volume of outbound sales activity.
Understanding the customer need is core to the sales strategy. If a buyer can delay a decision, they will. But if you speak directly to their needs in a clear and compelling way, you will catch their attention and likely propel them to act.
This is about being prescriptive in your approach and messaging:
- Hypothesis: Are you experiencing [explain need]?
- Solution: This is how our product or service solves the problem.
- Value Delivered: Speak to the benefits to both the left brain (logic) and right brain (emotion)
- Social Proof: Demonstrate capabilities with relevant customers or industry data.
- Call to Action: Deliver a clear, concise next step.
In the best of times, being decisive leads to better sales results. A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that “a proactive, prescriptive approach increased purchase ease by 86%” over traditional, solution selling techniques.
Being decisive is effective in a crisis for three reasons:
- Increased Velocity: It allows the buyer and seller to quickly validate if the need or problem exists. This cuts the BS work of selling and gets right to the point.
- Increased Credibility: The seller is perceived as a valued partner that is helping to solve both known and unknown issues.
- Increased Access: This approach is best suited to selling to business owners and executives. They appreciate a decisive, efficient buying process.
The challenge for Decisive Selling is it’s not a sales skill, it’s a strategy. It requires adapting your products, services, value proposition, and organizational resources to empower the process.
To make it work you have to be decisive in your strategy.
In a Crisis, Strategy Is Everything
Slingshot your company out of the crisis. Sticky Branding works with you to recover the customers and revenue taken by Covid-19, and to develop the strategy to come out of the crisis stronger than ever. If you’re interested, call me (Jeremy Miller) directly at 416.479.4403, or check out our Crisis Marketing services.