A career in sales offers a way to challenge yourself, and that was even before the COVID-19 pandemic rattled the world. Yet, the degree of difficulty has been raised, due to this life-altering change. Businesses are now keeping a tighter grip on their funds and now look at advertising opportunities with more scrutiny. Despite that, it is still possible to sell.
Read on for some tips on how we’re still selling amidst the pandemic, courtesy of our sales staff.
“The intent is always to ‘listen with the intent to understand the client’s needs.’ That still stands, their needs and budgets may have changed but there is always a need.” - Monica Schafer, Media Consultant, Groups Today and Teach & Travel
“It is vital to believe in what you are selling, especially right now. Sometimes this will include re-inventing or coming up with innovative ideas to change your product. Remind yourself the ways this will benefit the person you are selling to, and make sure those benefits are clearly communicated to them.” - Haleigh Gerwig, Media Sales Consultant, Revue West Michigan
“Now more than ever, patience is key. The pandemic has thrown off budgets and timelines—and the usual “decision maker” may now have less immediate buying power. Your customers will greatly appreciate your patience and understanding while business is not-so-usual.” - Lauren Abdelkader, Media Consultant, Groups Today and Teach & Travel
“Selling is helping and salespeople need to lean into their role as helpers. We need to ask ourselves how we can best help solve our customers’ problems. By being in a helpful mindset, we can pave the way for impactful customer relationships.” -Kary Moening, Media Sales Director, Groups Today and Teach & Travel
"This has been such a challenging year for sales. Now, more than ever, it’s important to show our human side as sales consultants. Empathizing with clients and prospects will go a long way. Starting off an email or a phone call with ‘How are you doing?’ will get you further than launching into your sales pitch right away." -Kelli Belanger, Media Sales Manager, Revue West Michigan
“I think it’s most important to remember we are all facing our own personal and professional challenges due to the pandemic, so be patient and empathetic. Many of my clients’ goals and challenges have changed due to the pandemic, so I concentrate my efforts on learning about their current situation. Then I focus on creating a campaign within budget to ensure they’re still able to advertise. At this point I don’t necessarily think of it as ‘selling,’ but instead, helping my clients find a way to educate our audience on their offerings.” -Ashley Micallef, Media Sales and Operations Coordinator/Media Consultant, West Michigan Woman
When you think about it, even though we’re living through a global pandemic, the art of selling hasn’t changed too much—it is the cultural, social and economic landscapes that have changed. What this requires of sales people is not too different from pre-pandemic selling. Remember, it is now more important than ever before to be patient, understand your client’s needs and believe in the product you’re selling.