Author

Gaby Jesson

Date

14-04-2020

Location

Central Research Laboratory

“People at this time don’t want to be sold to. They want to be helped”.

A valuable piece of advice from Paul Durrant, a professional sales expert who recently led a webinar on behalf of Enterprise Nation  about effective sales during Covid19.

This is the time to adapt your approach. Evolve to what is needed and above all and everything, listen.

Currently any potential customers – whether they’re business leaders or consumers – are facing the same challenging questions right now.  Should I hold back spending? What’s really worth the investment for now? And if you are selling, you need to be ready with the answers!

Whether you are networking or selling direct, the climate has changed and you need to adapt.

Here we share some tips for sales and networking during these challenging times. Its not easy but it is still possible and if you get the customer relations approach right now, it will pay off ten fold when we come out of lockdown.

BE MORE CONSULTANT. There’s a wide delta of difference between straight sales and consultative sales but the latter creates a stronger bond, even though it may take longer.

The main difference is the ratio between listening and selling. By asking questions and listening to your customers, you can shape and strengthen your customer relationships.  Do not expect an immediate sale but lay the groundwork for a converted lead when this phase is over.

YOUR PRODUCT AND SERVICE MIX. Is there anything in your product or service mix that can be evolved or re-shaped? For example, like many others, Plus X has changed our planned events calendar to digital formats including lunches, webinar and zoom training sessions. We are even talking to the likes of  this exciting London startup POW Food  so we can all enjoy healthy nutritious food whilst we meet together remotely!

GET CREATIVE. This clever Brewery (and a few have now done this at this time of writing) has nailed some fantastic PR results which has no doubt improved business prospects.  Gin makes hand sanitiser. 

Our own product development team at the Central Research Laboratory have got creative too – turning their 3D printing skills to making PPE  CRL team pivots to help NHS

REMOTE PITCHING. Yes its harder and no doubt only gets better with practice!

Luckily however there are plentiful online resources to help you perfect your pitch. These free sessions from Linkedin include how to lead and present meetings on video conference. The tips are really useful and cover areas such as introducing hand signals to manage communications in group meetings and even what to dress! Free pitch tips from Linkedin

INVESTOR PITCHING. Yes, pitches are still continuing and although these may be more fact finding than active investment, its never been a better time to sharpen your pitch quality. Octopus Ventures’ tips for pitching are an excellent reading for helping entrepreneurs and investors improve their online engagement with each other. Some of the tips include how to lead and gain support.

Lead the meeting by preparing in advance. Introduce yourself to individual people in the meeting and share your deck ahead of the meeting, inviting comments.

And whilst investor pitching is still continuing – so is networking! Personally I love digital networking. There is something more intimate and collaborative about it. Our local business networking groups including the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce are still continuing in digital form and our partner, Women of Wearables are delivering some incredible events, giving interested participants a chance to engage with each other.

Check out their health tech focused webinar here Women of Wearable event

For any more tips on how to drive sales and network effectively during the lockdown – please don’t hesitate to get in touch directly [email protected] Good luck!

 

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