If you’re struggling with your sales right now as many businesses are, you know you don’t have time to sit back and hope this whole thing blows over. But what can you do now? How do you get your sales back on track during the COVID-19 crisis?
In part 2 of our series, How To Get Your Sales Back on Track, I’m going to pick up where we left off. Showing you how changing your sales and marketing method is not only essential to your business’s survival but also the key to unlocking next-level growth as the crisis ends.
If you missed part 1, you’ll want to go back and read it to understand how to reposition your message and your brand for success.
Pivoting your method
One of the more lasting challenges I believe we are going to face is the actual way we market and sell our services. Businesses are going to have to pivot their “How we sell” much more than their “What we sell.”
Unfortunately, most leaders I’ve talked to are trying to do the exact opposite. Instead of changing the way they sell, they are pivoting on what they sell. They’re working hard to create brand new products and services.
While you may have to pivot what you sell, it will never bring you the success you want unless you also pivot how you sell it.
If you first focus on changing how you sell, you may actually find that you don’t need to change what you sell.
Pivoting to fail
I need to take this a step further because I think this point is incredibly important. If you pivot your product or service out of your existing niche, you are likely setting yourself up for failure in two ways.
In the short run, you’ll spend so much time and money developing and promoting your new product that it will be difficult to recoup the investment, especially if it is only useful during the crisis.
Second, all that time and money spent could distract you from developing your core products and services and how you sell them. If your competitor is playing the long game, they will pass you in the market, and you’ll have a much bigger, more permanent problem than you are experiencing now.
If you get your strategy wrong, I believe you have way more to lose over the next two years than you have over the last two months. Please, do not over-react to the current market. Instead, focus first on how to modernize, how you sell, rather than what you sell.
Pivoting to win
The best pivot strategy is to focus on building a new sales and marketing system that will accelerate your sales in the “new normal” coming. In broad terms, this means selling and/or generating leads online.
If none of your business came from your website before the crisis, you need to pay attention to this next section. The survival of your business depends on it.
Before the crisis, many businesses did not need to focus on generating business online. They were growing fast and generated more than enough business using traditional means of selling and even marketing. With face-to-face sales and using local ads or relying on word-of-mouth, they were crushing it.
And then March hit.
We now have every reason to believe that social distancing restrictions of some sort with be with us for at least the next 6-12 months. Can your business last that long? Are you willing to hold on to your old strategy and watch your sales suffer for another year?
You don’t have to. You can pivot to an online strategy, and there has never been a better time to do it.
Over the coming months, I’m going to be unpacking how you can make an online sales strategy work for your business, how it is essential for your business’s survival, and how it can help you grow faster after the crisis than ever before.
But for now, I want to lay out the basic structure of an online sales funnel for you.
- A clear brand message: We talked about this briefly already, but you will want to use a system like the StoryBrand Framework to create a clear and compelling message for your customers.
- A conversion-first website: Regardless of your industry, your website should be making you a ton of money. If it isn’t, you simply need to optimize it for sales and/or leads. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your website is a business card or work of art. It is a sales tool. Period.
- An online lead generator: Especially now, you need a way to connect with your prospects before they are ready to talk sales. An online lead generator will do precisely that.
- An automated email campaign: There are two types of email campaigns: sales campaigns and nurture campaigns. You will need both to make your online sales strategy works best, but you can start with a sales campaign of 5-6 emails that you write once and automatically send to every new lead from your website.
- A story-based sales script: Selling is all about persuading the human mind, and story is absolutely the best way to do that. Stories instantly connect your prospect with you both intellectually and emotionally. They also allow you to quickly side-step objections and close the deal.
These five parts make up an online sales funnel that works and will help you recover your lost sales and take your business to the next level.
Wrapping it up
If you are struggling with your sales right now, please know you are not alone. These are challenging times, but they will pass. These are also times of opportunity. When you look back 12 months from now, you will be so happy you used this time to pivot your message and your method, and your sales will be proof that you made the right decision.