For good reasons, the personal interaction between sales and customers is widely perceived the gold standard in sales: It gives us the best chance to understand and act upon the needs and motivation of our customers and apply the nudges of behavioral economics.
These days, almost all sales situations – from one-to-one meetings to large scale fairs – are shifted online (if not at all cancelled). The new situation, however, also comes with some unique opportunities for sales:
#1 More time to talk: This is obvious, but still: less time to travel and cancelled meetings gives both customers and sales staff more time to communicate. You can use that freed-up time to get in touch.
#2 More depth in talks: For virtually everybody, Corona is a new and uncertain situation, constituting a common ground for both parties. This typically leads to more frank and open discussions. The more intimate setting (staying at home) amplifies this effect. This is a good chance to better understand and act upon what truly moves the customer right now, but requires a more empathetic approach.
#3 Motivational changes: Many industries struggle to survive and see their suppliers struggling as well. In this situation, purchasing departments have a vital interest in the survival of their suppliers, instead of squeezing the last cent out. Fair conditions, reliable quality and delivery should be emphasized more than low prices or discounts in sales talks.
#4 More openness to innovations: There is a meme on the web illustrating that COVID-19 led the digitalization of companies more than any CTO. Looking at the increased use of Skype, Teams, Zoom, etc., there is some truth to it. Generally speaking, after the initial state of shock when the crisis struck, most clients are well aware that they need to at least challenge their business to some kind of new normality. Under these circumstances, clients will appreciate providers presenting themselves as sparring partner for discussing these challenges and be more open to innovative solution.
All of the above is a good showcase of the key insights of behavioral economics, namely, that situational and social influences have a significant impact on how customers perceive and process information and make decisions. Get in touch with us and follow our blog for the lasted insights about the application of behavioral economics in pricing and selling.