COVID-19 has put us in a situation that is threatening the health of many lives and of our economy. Too many lives have already been lost and we have not seen the end of this as yet. When economies are halted, also companies go out of business. Consumers stay at home and spend less money on buying goods other than food and medical necessities.
One could ask, during this time, is selling as a profession something you should do? Is that not disrespectful? Should we stop selling until the virus is under control and we can move around again, people going back to work and the economy is lifting up?
I would argue this is only true if you believe that selling is something you do to someone, for your benefit. It is a matter of mindset. During this time unknown leaders will arise and you can be one of them because I firmly believe that selling is something you do with someone and for their benefit.
In selling, you are helping people.
The economy is has turned itself upside down, and it is going to shrink. A recession is unavoidable. Your customers need to bounce back and they are going to need help rebuilding. Of course, your first priority right now in calling on your customers is to help them with the most essentials, their prioritized materials and services they need to keep their operations running. But like in any crisis, something else is going on in the background.
I read on social media an excellent analogy I would like to share with you. Like in a Formula 1 race, in the event of a crash, the safety car comes out and everyone needs to line up behind the safety car and wait until the track is free to race again. They do not stop but are slowing down at the speed of the safety car. That’s the situation we are in right now. The economy doesn’t stop, it is slowing down. Once the safety car disappears and the cars are racing, who has used their time of waiting in the most effective way? Racing cars need their support teams to check, verify, confirm, adjust and make sure they can accelerate as never before when the race is open again.
During this crisis, in business, your customers and prospects are going to need you as their support team. How can you help them to be optimally prepared so they can accelerate their business when the virus disappears of the track and everyone is ready to race again? Who has been using their time best to look at cost-saving areas? Who has been looking at growth opportunities they did not have time to explore before? Who defined risks their business was exposed to and explored how to avoid these in the future? Who considered totally disruptive changes to reduce their overall cost, maybe looking at totally different business models? The companies who are using their time right now to do these kinds of exercises are going to be the winners.
In the new way of selling, you do not sell products, services or solutions. You may get to that but that is not what buyers are looking for. They want better future outcomes. And you are just the person they welcome to be on their support team while they are lining up behind the safety car.
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