In the early days of Lockdown, in many conversations with friends who are small business owners, the prevailing mood was that now was not the time to be selling. It was the time to be helping wherever we could – and it had to be ‘for free’.
I was sort of there with that thinking – but also worried that selling had become taboo at a time when many of those same small business owners were unsure how they would support themselves and their families.
What I then saw unfold was fascinating.
People raced to help each other – in communities and in business. Helping others became the new marketing, building reputations and audiences. And it happened very quickly as, housebound, people spent more time online.
Commercially savvy business owners asked what their audiences needed – what would make their life easier, less worrying, happier, more fun. They could see what people were searching for online. This information was sales gold dust.
Knowing what people need or helping them to understand what they need – and how much that solution will help – underpins selling. Working out how you can provide that solution and then being in their eyeline when they are looking for it is smart selling. How interesting that it took a pandemic to illuminate this principle so clearly!
Good selling means doing the best both for your business and your clients. It hasn’t just come about because of Covid-19. However, the razor-sharp focus that the pandemic has given us is to look at what is really needed in the market – and then match that need with a well-constructed proposition. That crystal-clear proposition – the thing that we do so well for our potential customers – is the starting point for selling. When we know who we can help and how we can do it in a way that really makes a difference we are on our way to selling well!