News 13/08/2020 by "Casey McDonagh"

How to Navigate Your Sales Role in An Era of COVID Protocol

sales role - during COVID

If like me, you’ve spent a career shaking hands, the COVID restrictions are likely to have stumped you in ways that you may not have imagined. What is, on the surface, a simple gesture, is, in fact, a symbolic act that created goodwill between parties and signified mutual respect and an intention to come together. 

With the removal of this and the entire face to face meeting, most of us are realising that these simple physical interactions were powerful tools in the sales game. Without them, things get a little trickier. Rapport is not easily built over webcam, but while we are continuing to work “as usual” in completely unusual circumstances, us salespeople are having to adapt, and what is coming out of it, are more authentic relationships and some interesting strategies for building rapport. 

Authenticity Over Professionalism in Your Sales Role

The first positive tactic shift for many of us in a sales role is that most of us, just simply by living this weird experience together, are having more authentic conversations. “Oh, your kids are screaming from the other room, too? No problem at all, I locked mine outside with my partner… I totally understand what you’re going through!”

Excitement over casual wear days every day and pyjama pants on the bottom for video meetings are making for more personal conversations, we’re sharing our humanity and this, by virtue, builds stronger relationships. 

If you’re not already peeling back your once neatly orchestrated professional persona to reveal your more authentic self to your clients (who are experiencing the same), you may want to give it a shot. It’s unbelievably refreshing, and your relationships will be stronger for it. 

Demonstrating the ability to be a normal human being with a life now turned upside down, while also showing that you’re still working through it without a glitch, is a helluva way to prove your professionalism with authenticity. 

Time to Get Creative

Without physical meetings, networking events and other work-related gatherings to show off our knowledge and sway, many people are taking to LinkedIn to share articles, tips, experiences and other tidbits to, again, show humanity and exchange ideas on how we can all navigate the new world, while gently highlighting that we are someone that can help them do that. 

Other online activities like webinars, Meetups and knowledge sharing groups are also helping salespeople to keep active and engaged with their clients, offering them information of value in exchange for taking up a little space in their mind – planting the seed that they are in touch with what’s going on and ready to help whenever their clients should need them. 

Now is the time to become a thought leader in your space. With all the time saved since the death of events and networking drinks, why not jot down your experiences, ask questions to your network, write about practical information that has helped you during this time? Get on LinkedIn and see what others are doing, then consider how you could start conversations of value in your particular area. 

Consider What You Bring to the Table

What COVID has done, for those lucky enough to still be working and healthy, is slowed us down and made us rethink how we operate in our industries. This is an opportunity to pause, take that rare time to breathe, and think about what makes us most valuable to our clients. 

While the chance is there for us to get creative in our interactions and settle into a more calm, authentic version of our professional selves, we should absolutely be taking it. We don’t know what’s around the corner, but we do know that it doesn’t look like what it did before. This is your chance to draft strategies and activities that could shoot your personal brand through the roof. Explore it while you can. 

To find out what we’re doing to add value to our candidates and clients, while thriving at home, get in touch with the team at Launch.