You are only as good as your last sale!

Unlike other professions, sales jobs have always been measured by goals such as number of new clients, highest volume, and turnover, resulting in a higher target month after month.

Not only has the salesman been scrutinised on how he obtains these targets and what tactics he has applied to get the desired results.

Leonardo Di Caprio‘s character, Jordan Belfort from the movie Wolf of Wall Street jumps to mind. Based on the true story of Jordon Belfort’s rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption, and the Federal US Government.

Jordan Belfort

It is assumed that salespeople should have distinctive character traits when it comes to personality. Tenacity, being shrewd, cunning and confidence are more commonly used terms when describing a successful salesman. 

So, how does a salesman deliver successful results in the “New Normal” when he cannot rely on his born talents?

Let’s have a look at the 8 secrets professional salespeople need to know…

Society talks  about “the New Normal” – how our personal and professional lives will be permanently altered by the pandemic.

One thing is for sure, the pandemic proved that remote working was indeed possible and that the overhead reduction for organisations was a result of moving from a physical to virtual working environment.

Global Workplace Analytics reports an average savings of $11,000 per part-time role that was converted.

Even prior to the pandemic, several organisations encouraged a “work remotely” policy, promoting an agile work environment.

This brings us to the question of not from where we are working but rather how we are working?

Here we look at the 8 secrets that professional salespeople need to know.

The first three secrets look at workspace and adaptability…

3 key Secrets that fosters a ‘New Normal’ work ethic are:

Virtual workspace accessibility does not only refer to the physical position from where one works but also to having access to the tools, documents, and resources for us to complete a task. There are endless options available such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Hightail that enables you to share big files, store them in the cloud, sync across multiple devices, and create collaborative environments between colleagues and clients.

Secret 1. Virtual workspace accessibility 

Secret 2. Allochronic communication

Secret 3. And outcome-based tracking

Being free of controlled environments allows us greater flexibility in calendar synchronisation, time zones across geographies and personal domestic planning.

Allochronic communication channels such as  Slack, Google documents, and video sharing provide a transparent and ever flow of shared information that can be accessed irrespective of a time delay. 

Gone are the days of biometrics, clock-in, and clock-out procedures that are primarily sensory-based tracking measures!

It is a fallacy to believe that if being visible at a desk that you are productive

Leaders should instead focus on results, such as deliverables, achievements, and reports. This enables employees to prove their productivity, with or without local supervision.

The new normal is anything but ordinary

“You can call it the New Normal,” said Juliette Kayyem, a CNN national security analyst and former assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security.

“I call it the ‘Now Normal’ because I think every day is going to be different.”

For salespeople operating in a new normal means that every opportunity and former account relationship will evolve. 

Our fourth secret of the 8 secrets that professional salespeople need to know is that…

Secret 4. Buyer behaviour has changed

How can you position yourself to be a trusted advisor that your clients would rely on in a time of uncertainty?
By understanding your customer’s challenges and carefully segmenting them to tailor how you reach out to them is critical to your success.

Secret 5. Be prudent when selling in the New Normal

Recognise that your prospect has become more budget conscious.

Anxiety encompasses the pandemic’s long-term impact which most certainly impacts budget spends and forecasts.

Scrutinize where you can offer high-quality solutions that address their biggest and most relevant interests.

Do not be dismayed if the sale does not come to fruition immediately.

Rather, position your offering to be a “pain relief remedy” once the economy starts to show improvement.

Secret 6.Remain Memorable

Now is the time to nurture relationships and be the light for your customers.

The best way to remain memorable is using sales stories.

Research has proven that when a salesperson uses sales stories buyers are 22 times more open to buying.

“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.”

 – Doe Zantamata

Secret 7. Emphasize how you are an asset now and in the foreseeable future

Reflect on how your customer’s business has been affected and how your product or service can provide real value.

Is your customer struggling with new customer acquisition as they also move towards digitalisation?

Find an angle that you can position yourself favourably that addresses their immediate needs.

Ask plenty of questions to understand how they are adapting to the New Normal.

Use what you learn from your discussions to refine your sales pitch further. It might take a bit longer to seal the deal, but it would bear fruits in the end.

Secret 8. Innovate your sales pitch without offering discounts.

The wiggle room for price negotiations have been gravely affected due to budget reductions with many companies.

Giving discounts could be the “death of a salesman” as it reduces the expected value of what you are offering.

Instead work with your client to provide a solution that fits within a smaller, more attainable budget.

‘Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement’ a.k.a. BATNA

Negotiation researchers Roger Fisher and William Ury coined the term BATNA in their 1981 bestseller “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In”

A party’s BATNA refers to what a party can fall back on if a negotiation proves unsuccessful.

Many salespeople leave money on the table because they don’t have a value offering to ‘fall-back on’ if the primary solution/product is unfortunately rejected by the client.

You can learn more about how you can continue to nurture relationships even if the prospect is reluctant to buy right now from the Academy For Sales Excellence.

If you apply the 8 secrets that professional salespeople need to know you are set-up for successful selling in the new normal.

Happy selling!

Written by sales coach

Munene Nel

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