The struggle is REAL for most American consumers-Work furloughs, job loss, struggles with anxiety and depression paired with a sense of isolation and uncertainty can leave your consumers feeling edgy and a bit more ornery and impatient to deal with when trying to earn their business. So how do we break through all of this negativity, separate ourselves from the competition and earn new business and maintain the business that we’ve got?
We’ve got to lead with the heart in our sales scripts and our marketing and I’ve got 5 great tips to help you do just that!.
Establish a good foundation of communication. Never assume, always ask your new prospects how they prefer to be communicated with, it shows them you care. You may be a phone guy or an email gal, BUT 9 out of 10 consumers prefer texting, which luckily gives you the ability to over-communicate at point of sale, during the process and after delivery, which leads me to my next tip…
Embrace technology so you can still be face to face and set your consumers’ minds at ease. Zoom or other video technology can be utilized at point of sale so people can see you in action and connect with you. Once you are in process with the service or product they’ve agreed to buy from you, you can then switch to video touch-points via email or text. Again this gives your consumers a sense of the person you are and that you are going the extra mile to win their trust. Especially during these challenging times, email communications can lend to too many misunderstandings and misinterpretations, so don’t take that chance, UNLESS that is the only mode of communication your customer prefers and in that case, you will have to take extra precaution not to accidentally ruffle any feathers so watch your P’s & Q’s
Don’t be afraid to use touchy-feely language in your marketing. It’s ok to share well-crafted personal stories, pictures of your pets, activities, hobbies and uplifting quotes you enjoy, alongside your informational or educational marketing messages, so bring your softer side to every aspect of your sales approach and processes. Humor is also ok, but always make it G-rated. When people feel down, they will naturally gravitate to people who represent and showcase a positive outlook, who appear calm and happy. Be THAT type of sales person and you will win the business!
Set real expectations up front. The old sales phrase, “Under Promise and Over Deliver” should be top of mind with every sale. Because your consumer’s patience level is at an all-time low, communicating processing and delivery times of your services or products that takes ALL the unforeseeable hiccups into consideration, (which seem to be many these days) will help you earn trust and keep your customers from switching to your competitor. PLUS, remember, most folks don’t know how long your product or service delivery should take, be up front, pad the time expectation a hair and then WOW them when all goes accordingly to plan and you can deliver ahead of time! Same goes for bad news, the faster and more heart-felt you deliver bad news to your customers regarding errors, mistakes, delays or other unforeseen hiccups, the more likely you will be able to retain the sale. Blasting through the bad news and then never mentioning it again will NOT gain you the trust and respect necessary to capture their repeat business.PLUS, any bad news, should be followed-up with a heart-felt note card and possibly a little gift from the heart to show that you are empathetic to the situation and/or mix-up.
Don’t avoid your past customers in times of crisis! As everyone knows, maintaining past customers to create referrals and repeat business is ALWAYS more cost effective than marketing for new customers, soooooooo, even though times are tough and the stories you may hear might break your heart, remember to CALL your past customers just to check in, not to share industry news, not to tell them about a new product or service or to ask for referral, but simply to see how they are feeling and doing and if their family is A-ok. People need connection and a place to vent more than ever before, having a heart and giving your customers a chance to share with you, elevates you from a mere service or product provider to a FRIEND and we all want to buy from and support people who we KNOW, LIKE & TRUST.