Empathetic, patient selling is the way startups should engage customers and prospects during the C19 crisis.
In times of uncertainty, people are typically not looking for deals, discounts and best buys. Instead, they are looking for support, help and reassurance.
But why is it so important to understand empathetic patient selling and how does it differ from the way people sell when there is no crisis?
Empathetic patient selling revealed
Selling has got itself a bad name. For me, there are many reasons why this has happened. Top of the list is the fact buyers don’t like salespeople who put them under pressure to make a purchase (i.e. when they are either not ready or don’t want to buy).
Bad selling happens when sellers are under pressure themselves to bring money into a business (or to earn commission). And through their ‘me-first’ actions and selfish behaviour in front of buyers, they transfer unwanted pressure.
Since crises such as C19 create financial pressure within companies, this is precisely the time when bad selling habits develop and spread.
Yet for anyone involved in sales, including all startups, the way forward, (crisis or no crisis), is to avoid creating unnecessary pressure and tension. The way forward is to take your time and understand problems through questions and listening so both parties build empathy.
Since any crisis brings uncertainty it is far more difficult for buyers to make informed decisions – particularly ones about purchases. As such, all sellers need to be patient. Rushing people into decisions that they will later regret does not build trust, nor long-term business relationships. But it does fuel start-up failure.
Making Sales Podcast: Key message
Unlike almost all the other episodes in the Startup Survival Podcast Series, episode 5 (Making Sales) purposely doesn’t seek to find and share a new way of selling – just because we are in a crisis. Bad selling is so commonplace there is an argument that sales already has its own crisis.
As a result, episode 5 seeks to make clear for startups, what good selling is all about and how people can work to develop and sustain sales relationships with new and existing clients way beyond the current situation.
At the heart of the podcast is the need for startups to ask questions, listen and tune into customer needs. And by tuning in, rapport and thus trust is developed. Achieving all of this typically means giving first and understanding deeper psychological issues related to influence and persuasion.
All of this work may feel counter-intuitive because it takes more time. But for any startup to survive and thrive, it must celebrate the value of empathetic, patient selling and the issues surrounding this topic.
Did you like this post? If so, you may also appreciate ‘Embedding Negotiation Skills’ which includes ready-to use materials for completing an authentic, engaging and practical lesson (with any group size) all about negotiation.