November 19th, 2020
Surviving Lockdown 2.0 as a Salesperson
As cases of COVID-19 continue to surge, it would appear that we are heading for another lockdown in many states. At the very least, new restrictions are on the way. Whether they include mask mandates, limiting indoor meetings or avoiding small crowds—things are going to change or evolve for everyone.
The real question for salespeople is: What did we learn earlier this year and how can we be successful? My fundamental belief continues to be: Attitude is everything. If you believe the restrictions won’t slow you down from having success as a salesperson, then you will win. This is just another speed bump you will overcome.
With our ability to innovate, I have a feeling that we learned several things.
If you are going to continue doing in-home (in-person) sales presentations, one thing I would suggest is getting tested regularly—weekly, at least. We have better testing capacity now and for your peace of mind as well as your customers’, get tested. Here is an interesting article about Duke University, which is one of few universities that’s been able to complete their first semester in person. If you read the article, you will see that testing has been the key to their success.
If we look back over the past eight months, leading up to today, many companies have learned how to safely work around doing in-home sales presentations. Obviously, the key to keeping in-person, in-home sales presentations going is in doing all the things we have learned this year—getting tested, washing our hands, and wearing masks when/where appropriate.
Many companies have tried online presentations; some have had success while others have not. The key to doing online presentations is having a strong internet connection and following your selling process. With many internet meeting programs, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, you can have different backgrounds. My strong suggestion here is do not make the background distracting. If you are doing a presentation from your home, have a background like a kitchen table or a den.
When you do get a sale, make sure you set post-sale expectations. Let’s face it, our industry supply chain is strained—like nothing any of us have ever seen. Factory workforces are being pushed to their limits and, as a result, aren’t as efficient. Orders continue to remain strong so lead times have stretched out much further than usual. Make sure you relay this information and set proper expectations with homeowners—that lead times are longer than usual and why. Homeowners will be understanding, especially as everyone is experiencing this. Setting realistic expectations upfront will help out your back office people tremendously.
Finally, if you are optimistic, like I am, we are closer to getting back to normal than we were back in March. And I know March seems like eons ago! But there is a light at the end of the tunnel and every month it gets brighter. We will continue to make our businesses work, to partner with our suppliers, take care of our customers and our employees. We should be thankful for a strong 2020 in sales and look forward to a more “normal” 2021!