4 Good Ways for every Salesperson to UP their Networking Skills
Every technology sales leader is accustomed to using an array of email marketing tools or sales technologies to help send bulk mails or to help personalize every communication to prospects.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, while playing havoc on the sales and marketing strategies that teams may have built out at the start of the quarter, has opened up new avenues too. While working from home and being remote, sales teams can actually capitalize on their networking skills to help deepen their online relationship with their target audience during a time such as now.
The challenges that Covid-19 has thrown up can actually be looked at as an event to help create unique opportunities as well! As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons…make lemonade!
While practicing social distancing norms, sales and marketing teams can actually use this time to also strengthen their prospect relationships and online conversations.
Here are 4 Good Ideas every Tech Salesperson can Keep in Mind, to Help Boost their Networking Skills, Even During Tough Times…
1- Pick Up From Where You Left Off Last
During this time, not only are entire technology marketing and sales teams working remote, your target audience is too.
Everyone is more or less sailing in the same boat but no one wants to shy away from a simple conversation.
By keeping a conversation ongoing (without actually selling) it helps a sales person to stay top of their prospect’s mind, something that can come in handy at a later stage when things start easing up a bit and lockdowns start lifting completely.
A good way to start or re-initiate a conversation with a prospect (warm, cold, hot – the status of the lead does not matter at this point) is by picking up where you left off last.
- Did your marketing team send an automated cadence recently?
- Or did you reach out a few weeks/months ago?
Figure out what the tone or last communication was about and initiate a new conversation that allows you to pick up the thread again, without actually selling anything.
Everyone knows by now – no one likes to be sold to.
And at this uncertain time, everyone is craving that bit of conversation from peers in the industry and sales can step up by being advisors to their prospects in this time of need.
A few quick tips:
- bring in some humor into the conversation
- besides being empathetic as most sales leaders suggest you be during this time, try to help your prospect
- identify their problem area, their core challenge in their current role and try to help them tide over it
- just checking in on a prospect at a time such as this can help you build a better relationship going forward.
2- Share your Own Challenges with Your Prospects
Business leaders, technology marketing and sales teams have always faced similar challenges. The wrath brought on by the novel coronavirus has caused the same setbacks to every tech and other professional globally.
While networking or continuing a conversation with prospects during this sensitive time, open up about your own challenges and how you have planned to overcome them.
When peers share a tip or two with each other – a new idea or solution can be found far more quickly, something that will benefit both sides.
Want to see how the leaders in sales do it? Listen to our latest episode of the SalesStar Podcast to find out!
Being empathetic and asking your network or prospect how they are doing at this time is now becoming a natural lead in to every outgoing email.
Every tech marketer and salesperson can now use an array of tools that not only tell them more about their prospect’s location but also their buying behavior.
But the truth is that everyone’s buying behavior has changed due to the ongoing pandemic, even your prospect’s.
While you have a general idea of what your prospect could be interested in and where they are in their buying journey – this is the time to go a step further and give them ideas that can make their everyday life a tad bit easier given today’s challenges. Don’t just talk about your product or solution at this juncture!
If you’ve noticed a change in their purchase intent, and you have a solution in mind even if its not your own product – this is the time to tell them about it and help them as a rule of thumb.
This is where being empathetic or supportive in a different way will help you build a stronger foundation for later on. A year or two later, the chances of a prospect remembering what you did for them while they were going through the Covid-19 crisis will always stand out in their mind.
Catch what Ron Baden, Chief Revenue Officer of SalesHood has to say when it comes to being a friend to every prospect:
4- A Virtual Coffee and Conversation: It’s time for Virtual Networking!
Social distancing is itself a challenge – humans are meant to be social! While every tech salesperson is capitalizing on online meeting tools to ensure they have a steady pipeline, now is the time to use your online meeting tools, video marketing apps and schedulers to meet your prospect online and network virtually – without the aim of selling, but with the aim of having a general conversation!
Talk about their region, how long is the lockdown to last, what extra efforts are they being forced to take just to ensure they have daily supplies…the pandemic has after all impacted everyone in some way or other.
Your prospect already knows who you are and what you’re trying to do as a salesperson.
This is where it’s time to pivot a little and network – create that relationship that can hopefully last through this downtime just so you can pick up the thread at a slightly later stage.
Ask for a meeting – that’s what sales is supposed to do.
But focus on networking opportunities more during this time so that when the economy picks up again you have a list of people ready to talk to you.
Now is as good a time as any to have those conversations, to build those relationships. As Ami Gal, CEO of SQream says in a podcast episode, people like to do business with those who they like!