We’ve all seen posts like this,
Do you know who else isn’t okay? Your outbound salespeople and I haven’t seen any social posts on their behalf. They’ve had to roll with punches they didn’t even know could be thrown.
Chat with most relationship, referral-based sales professionals and they’ll tell you that they’re dealing with customer and prospecting behavior regularly that was once a rarity. Why is that? It’s the same valid answer that applies for most responses these days... it’s 2020.
2020 seems to be the pained parade we all just want to live through and have it end as soon as possible. While the inbound sales counterparts haven’t had to adapt nearly as much, outbounders are basically doing the limbo at a party we never wanted to go to in the first place. Sales people love to be “in the room.” We love the pursuit of the truth, genuine engagement, and thrive from the nuances and energy that comes from being connected by proximity.
Sure, we have been in a remote-friendly world for a time, but largely, technology has been embraced to help operations and reporting. For most organizations it’s never had to take the driver's seat for actual customer relationship management.
::AHEM:: Here are some methods you should be embracing so your prospecting and relationship-building remain in-tact:
Be Social. For some, social media has been a long-time friend for business pursuits. For others, it’s perceived as a useless stranger. Just remember that even your best customers are someone else’s prospect. If you aren’t actively engaged in conversation, rest assured that the conversation is still happening. You can be creative, or you can be a laggard bystander.
Be Observant. When is the last time you behaved like a guest user of your website? What responses do people get from your form submissions? Do you have an email workflow? Does it coincide with your knowledge of your sales funnel? Look at the content around you. Digital customer experiences are strong these days. Where does yours stack up? 95% of our clients are experiencing increased web traffic, our own site has had increased visibility. While some things may resume to our “old normal,” the digital standard has been established and the bar continues to raise.
Be Responsive. We’ve been in an age of instant gratification. If you have an online chat on your website, monitor its usage. Make sure that it’s set to coincide with your operating hours. Off hours, make sure that you have an appropriate response plan. With form submissions or emails, if your response window is more than 24-hours, assume that the inquiry has found another opportunity. If time is an issue, template email responses and use a scheduling software like Calendly to expedite your accessibility.
Be Visible. Face-to-face meetings aren’t a good idea. People understand Zoom, Google Hangout, Go-To-Meeting, Microsoft Teams… the list of video conferencing options is endless. These solutions make sharing a calendar invite seamless. People are getting very comfortable “on-camera.” And while not every meeting needs to be face to face, the more thoughtful strategy based conversations should be. Take advantage of the ability to engage this way. It makes YOU more memorable and affirms a connection that cannot be conveyed through email or over the phone.
Be Consistent. We know it feels overwhelming to manage 10+ methods of contact; so let this be your rule. If you’re going to pursue something go all in, because being partly committed in this digital age is pointless. You can’t compete with moderate participation. If you want to strengthen your email marketing game, start by vetting a platform that works for you and assembling or cleaning your lists. Once you’ve got a good list, make sure that you’re staying on top of executing your content calendar. These tactics WORK, but they don’t work overnight. Be patient and methodical about continuously pushing the ball up the field.
Be Patient. None of us have been through the curve balls that 2020 is throwing. Be weary of anyone modeling previous data in an effort to predict future behavior. For many, production, budgets, jobs, and plans are all up in the air. We’re all flying by the seat of our pants and the ripple effects are seemingly endless. Be patient and be kind. Keep showing up and remember that good, hard work pays off. Frustration is an inevitability, but to win—you just keep going.