Doing The Right Things In Tough Times

More people than ever are calling me for advice on how to spend their days. Frankly pre-Covid I would have been put off by this question. Really, a salesperson asking how she should spend her days? I would have thought she could have figured that out by now.

But now, well, these are not normal days and yes, I understand that people – especially salespeople –  need some advice on how to spend their days. 

Who would have thought almost eight months in that we would still be struggling with the limitations of a pandemic cause shut down? Certainly, we all thought that we would have been out of this situation by now. But now well, the numbers are rising again, and we are back where we were months ago, and it is pretty evident that we are going to be stuck indoors for awhile…with no definite end in sight.

Now, we are dealing with salespeople who are tired, who are at the end of their rope, who are tired of wondering what they can do to get things kick-started again.

But please don’t despair, keep your chin up,  take a good clear-eyed look at where we are today and together, we’ll figure out what you can do to get things moving again, all within the parameters of the continuing pandemic shut down 

First of all, don’t panic. It is what is, these are the cards we have been dealt and the winner will be the person who plays these cards in the best way possible. The good news is we are all in the same boat, we all have the same limitations, so we are all starting at the same point. Review what you have been doing this past eight months, and decide what has worked, and not worked. Plan your day. Pace yourself. Make a list of the things that you have to get done, today, this week, or this month.  Plan your days carefully, they are precious.

And then look at the bright side. Never before have you had the freedom, the autonomy, and the time, to get things done. But the thing is to make sure that you’re doing what matters. All those things that you have never had the time to do, or to do right.

This is the time for you to become the best salesperson you can be. Here are some of those things you can do today that will make you a great salesperson tomorrow 

Let’s talk about generating leads. Take this step-by step approach:

Prospecting: Now is the time to learn to prospect. It’s pretty simple when you have the time and all the resources we have today. First develop your ideal customer profile based on the type of company, technology, service demands and markets that best suit your company. Then create your ideal customer profile that you will use as a template in your search for the right prospects.

Research: By using tools like LinkedIn and Google you can perform an educated search to find the potential companies that fit your ideal customer profile. You can even take a look at job sites like Indeed and Monster.com to see what kind of companies are hiring.  You can see which companies are hot and growing. Those are the companies to target.

Lead Generation: Okay, now you have your list of target customers. The next step is to turn them into viable leads. Once again by using Linkedin and Google and other sites like these, you can find the key people at those companies. You are now sitting on their threshold.

Making contact: The best way to approach these leads is by sending them technical newsletters using software like Constant Contact. By using this type of software program, you can approach from twenty to two thousand prospects at one time. The key to a successful newsletter is creating content that is valuable and pertinent to your target customers’ needs. Content that will make the recipients of your newsletters not only sit up and take notice; but look forward to getting your next newsletter as well.

Consistent follow-up:  Don’t stop at one newsletter, keep going, send one a month. Grow your email list so that you are always adding more to your send-to list. After you have sent three or four newsletters check out who is opening them (yes you can do that with a tool like Constant Contact). And start defining which potential customers who are receiving your newsletters are interested in which of your offerings. For example, there will be a group who open everything you write about your Flex and Rigid flex  capabilities. Another group, you will notice is opening everything you write about HDI Micro vias. These groups are what we call your “Tribes”. 

Selling to Tribes: Separate your initial list into “Tribes” and start sending them newsletters with content that is based on their specific interest. You now have an audience of companies who are focused  on exactly what you sell. Now is the time to start including calls to action and specific “offers they cannot refuse.”

Contact them directly: You know who they are, and more importantly they know you are and most importantly they are very interested in your products and services. Now is the right time to strike. Either call them or send them a personal email. Your prospect is ready to give you that first golden opportunity!

So, what you have done here is something that matters. You invested time that you would have never had in the pre-Covid days and you spent it productively. You now have a list of qualified leads. Companies and people in those companies who know who you are and what you do. It’s time to do some business. It’s only common sense.

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