As the head of sales for Mamu Media, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the best ways to sell in our current environment. Many people seem to be wondering, “Is now a good time to be actively prospecting and selling?”
Of course, now is a good time to be selling. If you are in staffing, recruiting, or selling branded content solutions, prospecting is an essential activity that can never be put on hold.
But how you prospect, well, that has changed.
Personally, I try my best to be open to all perspectives, and I don’t think there is one right way to sell that works for every salesperson…or every client. Sadly, the days of face to face meetings, attending trade shows, or even knocking on a door are a distant memory. Now we need to find new ways to reach out, capture attention, nurture relationships, and convey our value.
I am sure in person prospecting will come back at some point, but as one of my old sales managers used to say, “If you are not growing, you’re dying.” Until we can get back to a “normal” way of doing things, I suggest you try a few of the four strategies below. You may find that some of these methods could be the new normal when normal is normal again!
Send something via the mail.
According to an article in NPR, the USPS decline in mail volume could be as much as 60% by the end of the year. “A lot of businesses have ceased to do advertising though the mail,” says Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-VA., “And as a result, mail volume has collapsed.”
The owners of our company told us that in the past three weeks, they have each received two pieces of advertising mail at our offices. Now is the time to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- You could send an article about something you have learned an employer is interested in with a handwritten note.
- You could send a handwritten thank you note vs. email (like everyone else) after a phone call or video meeting. It will be different for sure, and being different is a good thing!
- You could send a branded magazine with content that is relevant to your prospect or client. (Hey, don’t blame the product pitch, remember, I’m a sales guy!)
Use video technology in your outreach.
The average business person receives 125 emails per day per a study done by The Radicati Group Inc. If you are looking to stand out from the 124 other emails that they receive, consider sending a video email.
Dan Fisher from Menemsha Group mentions in his article titled, Four Compelling Reasons for Recruiters, Sales Reps to Embrace Video, that emails that include video received a 4x greater click through rate. vs those without video. If you are not using video in your initial outreach, give it a try. The product I use to do this is Video NOW by Haley Marketing.
In addition to video email, I would also highly recommend that you use one of the many video platforms to conduct meetings vs. phone calls. While you may be feeling Zoomed out, and meeting by video is not perfect, video gives you the ability to read a person’s facial expression and body language which, as you know, is extremely important in a sales meeting.
Tighten up your value proposition.
If you are lucky, you get 30 seconds of someone’s time for them to decide if they want to hear more or if they delete your email, hang up the phone, or stop reading what you gave them.
Assuming that you have shared some great ideas with your prospect or client, and you softened the beaches prior to reaching out (with mail, video and great content), to “sell” you need to make sure that you convey a message that clearly illustrates your value.
When you send an email, leave a voice mail, or write a letter, clearly convey your “Why.” Why does the prospect need you? Why is your approach unique? Show how you help your prospects solve problems and how having a relationship with you will improve their business and their job.
Your “why” needs to resonate in order to take the conversation to the next step. Be careful not to muddy the waters by going on tangents. Do not try to sell on the spot. Do not leave a 3-minute voicemail with a sales pitch.
When selling the first “Why?” you need to sell the reason the prospect should make time to meet with you. Be crisp, concise, and get the person to agree to set aside time, so you can have a proper conversation.
Connect marketing to the sales process.
Our company recently merged with Haley Marketing. Prior to the merger, we did not do a great job at marketing our own services. When our CEO told us that last year, they received 900 plus inbound sales leads through proper marketing, my jaw dropped.
Effective marketing starts with a plan. You need to curate or create a great content strategy and couple that with the right print, digital, and social marketing. The deliverables need to be designed to capture attention, deliver value, and be wrapped with SEO and analytics.
For Mamu Media, we just did our first joint marketing campaign with our team at Haley Marketing, and that first campaign has generated 27 qualified sales leads. That was all the proof I needed to know that marketing and sales go hand and hand!
I hope that one or two of these ideas work for you. If you want to talk further, please reach out!