out of focus male writing on whiteboard determining what is stage 4 lockdown
Business guide to Coronavirus

Five strategies for selling in stage 4 lockdown

Stage 4 restrictions were implemented in Victoria on Monday 3 August and are
expected to last until Sunday 13 September 2020.

Peter Strohkorb Advisory has been a member of My Business since January 2013.

Coronavirus has hit Victoria, and particularly Melbourne, hard in terms of a second wave. So what are the implications and considerations for sales organisations operating in this environment? Consider these five strategies when reviewing your sales activity.

Of course, physical meetings with prospects and customers are now completely out. This means phone, social media and other electronic and online channels are the means still available to communicate with your target audience.

So, even with stage 4 restrictions in place, the top of your sales funnel should still be reasonably intact, albeit with some tweaking, as explained in the points below.

Your buyers are now in a situation of general uncertainty. They may experience anxiety, fear and feel a certain loss of control over what’s going on in their life.

This is a time to do your research and then use your emotional intelligence to empathise and sympathise with your buyers in your engagement with them. Make them feel you are on their side and you have their best interests at heart.

Restrain your salesmanship. Your cold outreaches and new prospect engagements must now be highly targeted and personally engaging. No more generic mass emails or unsolicited cold calls.

Keep in mind the achievement of your sales targets is now even less relevant to your buyers than it was before. Meaning, before the pandemic, it was common to see sales reps being pushed hard by their managers to 'close those deals' and 'hit your sales targets'.

Equally as often, sales reps would pass this pressure on to their prospects and push harder for a sale. Now your prospects will no longer tolerate being pressed into a purchasing decision.

The current environment is so emotionally charged that pushy salesmanship at this time may send them over the edge and put them off buying from your business altogether.

What are buyers now really looking for? Even more so than before, they want to be educated, advised, and guided into a buying decision. They do not want to be sold to.

To accommodate this sentiment, your reps need to act more like subject matter experts than sales reps. This may mean that sales cycles will lengthen, but that is vastly preferable to losing the deal altogether.

Of course, you need a good value proposition with which to introduce your business to your buyers. But, your value proposition must not speak about what you do. Instead, it must speak about what problems you solve for your customers, and about the experience they can reasonably expect from doing business with you.

Speak clearly about what your prospects can expect from doing business with you, why they should talk to you instead of to your competitors, and why they should talk to you now, not later. Then, give them a clear path to follow.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of My Business. 

Peter Strohkorb

Peter Strohkorb

Founder and Principal – Peter Strohkorb Advisory

Peter Strohkorb is a sales expert in the Tech, IT and Services sector. He's also a published author, a professional conference speaker, workshop facilitator and executive mentor.

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