Covid signs at London Underground station

I say selling but I’m really talking about the early stages of the sales relationship : prospecting or telemarketing.

Many things are going to be very different post-CoVid. We’ve even had some conversations recently where we talk about BC : before CoVid. Some of this has an impact on your prospect calling and particularly on your ability to get hold of people on the telephone. Offices are just starting to open up again – but there are many challenges still. Many people are hybrid working – with a mix of time in the office and WFH. Especially in many of the office roles that I often speak to. I am still finding that some receptions are closed! Consequently you need either email or a direct dial number. All of this makes things increasingly challenging.

So be creative. Look for alternative methods of communication. Hopefully you’ll have their mobile number. If they’re not in the office often, this is the next best thing. You can also email them. They may not be in the office but they will be picking up emails. Make sure that as much of your email is templated as possible. The benefit is that you can simply copy and paste your BEST set of words. You don’t have to sit and THINK about what you want to say. By all means top and tail the email with an element of personalisation but keep it standard wherever possible. I cover this point in my book Using the phone to Sell available from all good bookshops!

You may consider sending a letter. Why not? Postage has become relatively expensive in recent years with the result that not many people receive letters anymore. Certainly not of the type which you will be sending.

You can use online meetings too for updates. To some degree there’s less commitment from your customer or prospect to give you 30 minutes – 60 minutes on screen than meeting you. Furthermore if there are a few people on their side who would want to be on the meeting but they’re hybrid working then doing it online will be much easier for them all.

Nevertheless don’t give up. Hone your approach and make it benefit-led. Then keep doing it. Making 1,000 calls or approaches will be 10 times more effective than making 100 calls – all other things being equal. There’s no magic bullet. Keep doing the right things and systemise your way of working as much as possible to make it run like clockwork.