How to Overcome Sales Obstacles During a Pandemic

How are you doing at overcoming sales obstacles currently? There are always obstacles in sales, but in our pandemic filled world, the obstacles are greater. However, the rewards are greater, too.

I’m going to walk you through 10 sales obstacles that salespeople are facing right now in the pandemic and what you can do to overcome them. First, if you don’t yet have a copy of my books, A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting, go out on Amazon and grab them. Also, subscribe to my YouTube channel to receive a new video like this every week. Last but not least, check out my website for tons of resources on how to overcome sales obstacles during a pandemic, www.thesaleshunter.com.

1. Hard to Get Leads

Right now, it’s just plain hard to get leads because the traditional methods of finding them are off the table. No longer do we have conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, etc. This is why you have to be able to create partnerships with people. You have to do a better job of defining your ICP, since now you can’t just expect thousands of people to drop by your booth at a trade show. That’s not even an option.

Know precisely who your ICP is so you can target that person through alternative methods – for example, online through social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), or direct mail. It all starts by understanding your ICP; that’s your first step.

2. Zero Motivation

Wow. This one is crushing a lot of salespeople. You have to understand that nobody can motivate you, except yourself. A strategy that I’ve shared before but will share again is to make a list of all of the successful outcomes that you’ve helped your customers create. I want you to write this down and put it next to your phone, computer,  desk, wherever – just as long as it’s in a prominent place where you look often. If you have the ability to help someone, then it’s your obligation to reach out to them.

You have to believe one hundred percent in the outcome that you can create. You might not be successful every day, and that’s ok. Don’t worry. Hey, there’s a lot of baseball players who strike out far more often than they get on base. But you know what? Once they get on base, it suddenly makes all that hard work and effort worthwhile.

Don’t expect every day to be all roses. It won’t happen. However, stay focused on the outcomes you can create and believe that you can make a difference. In every one of your daily conversations, it must be your goal and desire to earn the right to privilege, honor and respect to be able to talk with that person again.

3. Everyone’s Confused

You’re right, everyone is bewildered, yet this is what makes your job even better and greater than before. Customers don’t know what they don’t know, because of all the information out there. The world has become noisier than ever, primarily due to the Internet. Everyone is confused. This is why you have to do your job of asking questions and engaging in conversations. Right now, the exchanges we have with people are more important than ever.

In addition, I want to go back to ICP, your ideal customer profile. The more you stay in your lane focused on your ICP, the more you’ll be seen as the expert and able to share insights to help bring clarity to your customers.

4. Nobody Wants to Buy

Well, that’s just a flat-out cheap excuse. There is still a lot of business happening out there. Yes, I get that it may vary by industry. However, customers want to buy and they will, if you give them the reason to buy.

It’s starts with your thinking. This is why the greatest obstacle to overcome is your own mind. Yes, it starts with you and your thoughts. When you hear that nobody wants to buy, that’s not true. People want to buy when given a reason to do so.

5. Prices are Too High

Price has always been an issue, but right now in a pandemic, price has become an even bigger issue. Again, you have to come back and ask yourself: are you creating the right value?

You may need to make some tweaks in how you’re offering your product like in how you present the product or the packages that you’re offering, but your prices are not too high if you’re providing outcomes. Remember, there are two types of meat out there – hamburger and the New York strip steak. They’re both meat, but they sell for different prices and deliver different outcomes.

Know the outcome. You create the market in which you go after. Your price is not too high.

6. Bad Customers, Bad Leads

You’re right that these two go together. You see, salespeople become so desperate that they begin having conversations with anybody and everybody. They begin to listen to that person, talk to that person, and so on and so forth. In doing so, they end up opening themselves up to bad customers.

Bad customers do come in all kinds of shapes, flavors, sizes and types; however, basically, they are customers that will never understand your value or how you can help them. Bad customers never value and appreciate you for who you are. That’s how bad customers come from bad leads. It comes back to remaining focused on your ICP. I can’t stress that enough.

7. Customers have Options

Yes, they do have options and they always have. The change that has come in relation to customer’s options has to do with geographic boundaries. Because of the pandemic, the geographic boundaries have significantly shifted. You used to be able to call this customer because you knew that you could physically go to them. Now, you can’t physically go see them. Suddenly, this means that the best person is not the person who walks to the door but the person who can be reached on the Internet.

Customers do have options, but that means that you also have options. I like that. It’s not bad, and it means two things. First, you have to increase your level of presence on the internet. Second, you have to increase the trust you create when you increase your presence. In other words, increase your circle or your sphere of influence.

You will be exposed to more customers again and more customers who have options. You have to create a level of trust, because when you create a level of trust, it’s amazing how the customer starts to view you as the person they want to buy from, rather than just somebody else.

8. Customers Won’t Make a Decision

This is no different than any other time. It just seems really magnified right now during the pandemic.

Customers won’t make a decision, because you haven’t given them a receipt. The number one person you’re selling against is the person who doesn’t make a decision. It’s not the customer who says that they won’t buy from you but somebody else. It’s really the customer who says they’re just not going to make a decision.

Why is that? Because you have not taken the time to engage with them. You’ve neglected to help them understand their critical need or reason. This is why I don’t think it’s about the number of leads you have, but rather the quality of the leads. Your objective is to spend more time with fewer prospects. When you do that, you’ll be able to understand each of your customers on a deeper level.

9. Too Much Ghosting

Yeah, it happens. Sometimes you have one conversation and then you struggle to engage with them again. This happens because people are busy.

If you’re not seen by the prospect / customer as being their first or second priority, in other words, if the outcome you create isn’t their number one or number two, they don’t have time for you because they’re dealing with so many issues. Immediately upon engaging them, you have to understand how you can become their number one or number two priority. It’s not that they love you more than somebody else. It’s about the outcome that you create. In other words, the outcomes you can help create for them is so crucial that they see it as their number or number two priority if it doesn’t fit in that wheelhouse.

Again, this goes back to why I emphasize needing to stay in your lane and focusing on your ICP. Ghosting also occurs, because you just haven’t followed the message that appears on every bottle of shampoo. If you don’t know, stop and go take a look at the bottle of shampoo in your shower. That bottle of shampoo has a couple of key words: rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.

You have to be able to rinse and that doesn’t mean putting the same shampoo back in your hair. Every time, you apply fresh shampoo to your hair and repeat the process.

You have to be able to deliver that prospect with enough value, enough meat, and enough reason for them to need to speak with you again. That’s how your status goes from number four, five, or six on their priority list to number one or number two.

10. Hard to See Customers

Guess what, the world has changed. Get over it. This means that not only is it hard for you, but it’s hard for your competition. Remember, all you have to do is be smarter than your competition. Yes, that means you need to use Zoom, videos in your emails, social media, and other platforms.

As difficult as you think it is to work-from-home, customers are now saying they have to be able to buy from home. So, what does that mean for you today? The world is different and really, with more businesses opening, it’s not just buying from home, it’s about buying and selling online. This has to be done from a video standpoint as well.

The faster you accept that, the better off you’ll be. It really all comes down to the sales obstacle that I mentioned earlier which is your mind. Every sales obstacle begins in your mind, so you must start by having the right mindset and believing that you can make a difference. A mind for sales is the first and most important step in overcoming sales obstacles in a pandemic.

Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog.  Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.

 

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