I'm just off the phone from a business leader about how they are going to keep up their prospecting, selling and closing in a Covid-19 world.
The problem is this:-
- The prospects and clients have been sent home due to the Covid-19 situation, so they cannot cold call.
- Realistically, how many emails will somebody take in the current climate, probably none? So email marketing is out.
- So how will they be able to create leads and meetings for new pipeline?
- No face-to-face meetings to allow the creation of in-depth relationships.
- How will they be able to move that pipeline through the sales process?
- How will they get around and influence all the decision makers and decision influencers? In the past, you could call people up and go and see them.
As this business leader said "we need to have multiple channels in which we can communicate".
And finally, and it's the biggest issue, as Mark Schaefer pointed out recently, selling right now is like trying to sell to somebody at a funeral.
Our advice is to get on social.
Now let's qualify that ..... your Linkedin profile is a mess, it is a CV, you need it to work harder for you.
The first thing you need to do is update your Linkedin profile so it's buyer-centric. Think about how you used to go to meetings before Covid-19 and would introduce yourself in that meeting. That's how you need to write your profile.
This is a great way to shortcut the sales process as people can check you out and get a feel for you.
The next thing you need is a network. Most people's Linkedin connections are x colleagues and recruitment consultants. You need to connect with everybody in your company (so you can share networks) all of your prospects, all of your customers, all of the influencers in your territory.
The mistake companies make is they don't get the senior people to connect. Senior people have senior connections, if you want to sell at C-Level then you need to get your management to connect, otherwise you are selling yourself short.
The next thing you need is content. Not corporate content and not anything that was created before Covid-19 hit. Most people will be concerned for other things than a "digital transformation". Unless you are speaking to current Covid-19 business issues you will look irrelevant. The best thing right now is to empower your teams to write about what is relevant to them.
Finally, you need to understand the rules of the jungle. There was a time you could post on Linkedin and everything would be fine, the Linkedin algorithm is now more sophisticated. For example, emojis in your summary title, use of pods, more than three hashtags in posts, links directing the user outside of Linkedin to say a blog or website are all now throttled by 80% by the algorithm.
Hope this helps and will enable you go to through this, it does seem that we are now in the long haul with Covid-19. We can get through this with some changes to the way we work, the way we sell, the way we market and the way we use social and we can all get back to some level of normality.
Wishing you and your loved ones to stay safe.
Over the last week, we have seen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market, businesses, and communities. During these unpredictable times, one thing is certain; we cannot control these events, but we can control how we react.