As announced by the Government, we’re now in another lockdown across the country. Things are slightly different than the first lockdown in March 2020, but not by a lot.

So, what does this mean for sales? How can your business deal with the fallout of this latest national lockdown?

Appointment-only will be back

It’s possible for most of us that appointment-only meetings never went away after the first lockdown. No more dropping in on a target business to see if you can grab 5 minutes with the right person, no more showing up without a meeting booked, hoping for a quick conversation, no more chatting to the receptionist to find the right contact in the building.

Getting someone onto a zoom meeting is a little more challenging – you have to have an appointment, and you can’t always rely on people showing up if you’ve talked them into accepting.

It’ll be harder to reach people

We don’t know if there will be another furlough, or what the impact on job losses will be yet, but we can be certain that it’ll be harder to get through to the people you need to.

With everyone working from home unless absolutely necessary, it tends to be harder to get through the gatekeepers to find the contact information you need. Chances are you’ll be given the generic info@ or contact@ email addresses, knowing you’ll never get through to a decision maker.

Emails won’t have as much impact

We saw this during the first lockdown – the number of sales emails went through the roof, and response rates plummeted as buyers and decision makers (as well as everyone else) were bombarded with standard outreach emails to try and replace meetings.

Digital will be saturated again

How many new pieces of content, thinkpieces, webinars, and podcasts do you remember from the first lockdown? Chances are there were so many that popped up in a short space of time that you don’t recall all that many of them.

With everyone moving online as a result of the lockdown, digital channels became saturated with new content, or similar takes on the same content, making it harder for businesses to cut through the noise.

Businesses will spend less – unless it’s worth it

As with the earlier lockdowns, businesses worry about the impact the country shutting down will have on their revenue. Cost-cutting is definitely the order of the day for plenty of businesses, and many more will implement official or informal spending freezes.

So, if you want to get any traction with sales, your proposition needs to be stellar. If your prospects can’t see the value of your offering, you’ll get nowhere. And if they can’t see how that value is going to be important to them right now, they may be interested but they’ll put you on hold until “things are more stable”.

No one has time for you

Your messaging needs to be on top form – your proposition needs to be clear, precise, and, most importantly, concise.

With people being bombarded by sales messaging, you don’t have long to get your message across. If you manage to get in front of the right person, you need to have a proposal that reflects them and their needs, otherwise they’ll cut things short. They’ve got a business to keep going, and buying something new isn’t top of the priority list. If you want their precious time, you need to show that what you offer is something that aligns with their goals and solves their challenges. And you need to get to the point – fast.

So, now what?

We’ve been through this before, so we know that businesses do buy in a lockdown – if you’ve got something that can help them, they’ll buy it from you. The trick is getting to the point where the right people in the right businesses know about it.

With all of the challenges above, one of the areas that got fantastic results during the first lockdown was telemarketing. It proved to be a way of setting appointments, nurturing those leads to make sure they attended the appointments, schmoozing gatekeepers to get the right information, cutting through the noise, and avoiding getting lost in a groaning inbox full of pitches.

If you’re looking for a way to combat some of the challenges of lockdown, and need to reach your target audience no matter what, why not give us a whistle and see if we can help.

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