How to Visit Customers in the Age of COVID-19July 23, 2020 | Posted by Scott McCarty in Odds Are, Relationship Building, Sales Training, Virtual Selling
It’s safe to say the COVID-19 pandemic will forever change the way sales professionals visit their customers. In-person visits, whether in the office or over lunch/dinner, are being replaced with virtual meetings. And the few in-person visits that are taking place are happening at a distance, behind masks, without handshakes, and with less opportunity to network within your contact’s organization by personally meeting your contact’s team members or coworkers. With all this taken into consideration, how do you go about visiting customers in the age of COVID-19? What is the best way to do it? While the best way certainly involves following your customer organization’s safety measures, and always erring on the side of caution, a recent article by McKinsey & Company offers some insights that are particularly relevant to sales professionals.
The first insight relates to focusing on care and concern. Whether you are visiting a customer virtually or in-person, neither the purpose of your visit nor the subject matter should be related to sales! Instead, your visit should solely be out of care for your customer. Be proactive! Reach out to your customers and schedule a visit with them to show your support. Ask them how they’ve been doing, what has changed in their world, what their experience has been, etc., with no intent to sell to them!
If you’re a Carew customer familiar with LAER: The Bonding Process®, your visits during this time should focus heavily on the Listen and Acknowledge steps! The care and concern you demonstrate to your customers in this way will let them know you are a resource they can trust. Visiting your customers to show your support now will have a positive impact on the long-term relationships you have with them because you were there for them – even if it was just to lend an ear – when they needed it most.
The second insight relates to meeting your customers where they are. This one goes hand-in-hand with the care and concern focus above. If your customer wants to meet with you virtually, no matter how much you’d rather meet with them in person, you must do it virtually! This is a mindset you should embrace as a sales professional, particularly if you are familiar with Carew’s “Odd’s Are Factor.” Always ensure you are acting out of a genuine understanding of your customer’s perspective. A bonus here is that meeting with your customers virtually will help you to innovate your sales methodology and establish a strong advantage over competitors so you can maintain your customer relationships long after the crisis.
The face of customer-sales professional visits will never be the same. Following the tips above will guarantee you are doing the right thing when it comes to visiting your customers!
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