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Prospecting During Times of Uncertainty

These are new and unusual times. Overnight we went from a country with the Dow over 29,000, an unemployment rate under 3% and most companies seeing very healthy YoY growth rates. Now we are facing a very different reality. I believe those who are adaptable, innovative, resilient, and understand we’ll need to “SELL” our way out of this will have the best chance of coming out ahead in the next few weeks. That includes  the need to prospect and filling the top of the funnel to ensure there will be revenue (and commission) in the months to come.  

Here are some tips to help you be more comfortable reaching out to prospects during this unusual time. 

Understand why continuing to prospect is still important 

  • We as sales reps are going to need to “sell our way out of Corona”. This means that we are going to need to continue to fill the top of the funnel and you can’t do that without prospecting
  • MOST companies still have problems that your product or service solves. Don’t check your brain at the door here. Companies are falling into 3 buckets currently:
    • Thriving due to the crisis
    • Unsure of how they’ll be impacted long-term
    • Devastated by the situation

Reach out to the 1st 2 groups and leave the 3rd alone for now.

Shift your prospecting methods 

This is not business as usual, so your prospecting methods need to shift with the changing times.

  • Throw out those “pre-Corona” cadences and write new ones acknowledging that things have changed.
  • Continue to use multiple communications methods….. Including PHONE. Here are some ways to open the call:
    • “Thanks for taking my call. I know that these are unusual times.”
    • "I know that in the current environment it might be hard to consider new purchases/vendors today and we aren't expecting you to, but I wanted to reach out to see if you'd be open to having a discussion in April about a future solution for when this all calms down?”

Craft compassionate and empathic emails and voicemails

  • Address the elephant in the room - everyone knows this isn’t business as usual so acknowledge that right away. 
  • Empathy is “me too.” I understand your concerns, I have them too. 
  • Share the Value you bring to the table in these different times
  • Change your ask, maybe. If the company is thriving now, it’s ok to ask for an appt. or demo. If they are struggling or unsure what the long-term financial impact will be, then offer:
    • To be a resource in any way possible
    • To all them to your newsletter
    • To send them relevant content
    • To just keep in touch and check in on them

Increase Research and Customization

Now is not the time to be sending generic emails, leaving recorded voicemails or standard videos. 

  • Abandon your current cadences
  • Write new “Corona” cadences
  • Research your prospect
  • Customize your message
  • Don’t push for a meeting…..add VALUE

Video is a MUST

I’ve been using the benefits of video communication for at least 3 years now. During this time, it’s mandatory. Don’t worry that you aren’t wearing makeup, your hair’s in a ponytail or that you’re wearing your old college sweatshirt. That’s not what’s important. 

  • Now’s the time to make a personal connection
  • Video is more engaging
  • Hear and see empathy

Handle the “Call me in May” Objection

You’re getting this regularly, and you completely understand. Here’s how you can make sure you aren’t filling your May callback list with junk:

  • We handle objections by asking questions 
  • "I'd be happy to schedule a time to speak again in a few weeks. If I could ask you a couple of questions now though, I may be able to determine if there is a need to speak in the future. Would that be ok?”

No one knows for how much longer this will last or what the long-lasting effects will be. I do know that we have total control of how we react. I also believe that we’re going to have to sell our way out of this situation. The reps I’m talking to are telling me that they are having better and longer conversations with those prospects they are getting ahold of. Go ahead…. Pick up the phone and make a connection and add value!