Not long ago, big smiles, strong handshakes, and polished professional outfits were considered key tips to making a great first impression in sales.
However, how we meet, greet, and connect with people has been reshaped by the 2020 global pandemic. As a result, the way you nail a great first impression has changed — think social distancing, wearing masks, remote work, virtual meetings, etc.
Don’t panic. Being personable and confident are still important sales rep (and personal) qualities. While these changes pose new challenges to building relationships, they also offer a unique opportunity to fine-tune your sales skills.
Here are a few tips to challenge yourself to make a great first impression no matter the circumstances:
Add a visual element
Are you a great speaker? Do you have a charismatic personality with a magnetic contagious smile to match? In the past, you may have relied on these qualities to help you succeed in your sales pitch. And they probably worked. Clients put their guard down, trusted and listened to you.
But now, masks and the disconnect that can occur in virtual conferences can make those elements of your sales pitch feel useless.
Here’s what you can do
Take this opportunity to get in touch with your creative side! A 2016 PubMed Central report revealed that the brain responds more positively to the added visual component to written language than words alone.
With this in mind, make and add creative visual guides, slide shows, pamphlets, and presentations to your sales pitch.
Find ways to appeal to clients’ senses and tap into their emotions through color, engaging visuals, and interactive demonstrations.
Find their reason why
A top characteristic to be successful in the sales world is to be authentic. You need to genuinely believe in your product and the work your company is doing. This drives your purpose, and your authenticity will shine through in your sales pitch.
A McKinsey survey of 800 U.S workers found only one-third believe their organizations strongly connect actions to purpose. But those employees “living their purpose” are more likely to improve their levels of work effectiveness; they had four times higher engagement and five times higher well-being than those who do not connect work to their purpose.
However, it’s not enough for you to just believe in your product. It is imperative that your client also believes your product will best serve their patients’ needs.
Here’s what you can do
To bring your purpose full-circle, you need to understand your client’s reason why. Dig in to find their passions and pain points and speak to them. Don’t go in with the intent to close the deal on a product. Show them why you believe in this solution and prove you are there to meet their needs.
Make it a point to actively listen. People won’t always remember what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel. Be aware of how they react and process the information you present and respond accordingly.
If you recognize your product isn’t going to fit your client’s immediate needs, don’t push too hard just to get a sale. They may not need your product now, but they could need help solving a problem in the future. And they’ll remember how you were able to connect your purpose to their needs, leading to a future opportunity to close the sale.
Show off your agility
In a Deloitte survey of 3,600 executives, nearly three-quarters identified “the ability of their people to adapt, reskill, and assume new roles” as what’s most needed to navigate the future. And yet, only 17% said their workforce is ready to take the necessary action to do so.
Your company survived a pandemic! Why? Because you are agile and your product is necessary! This is a huge accomplishment when so many others had to close their doors. Your team rallied together to navigate the challenges of building relationships and closing sales in an isolated world.
Your client needs to know this. It is crucial that during times of uncertainty and hardship, your client is assured they can invest and depend on you to come through no matter what.
Here’s what you can do
In addition to letting your client know about the product, it’s equally important to let them know what’s going on at your company. Being transparent in your sales pitch will lead to stronger relationships.
Be prepared to answer questions honestly about how your company handles obstacles with production, delivery, budget cuts, layoffs, etc. Use discretion, but don’t be afraid to be forthcoming about your ability to overcome challenges and your dedication to meet their needs.
Learn more about other responsive and effective shifts caused by the pandemic in the medical sales world!