Is it Time to Stop Calling, or Re-tool?
It seems surreal: just a few weeks ago, VSA’s whole team was gathered in our Westmont, NJ office. We were busy qualifying prospects and setting appointments. Everything was normal. But thanks to the worldwide COVID-19 crisis, we now know how quickly things can change.
In addition to making our own adjustments, we’ve witnessed the various ways in which our clients have reacted to this drastically-altered business landscape. Many have put their telephone lead gen programs on hold, making the assumption that sales prospecting calls are either inappropriate or ineffective during such a frantic time.
Of course, no one wants to just carry on as if nothing’s changed. But does that mean you should halt your calling programs altogether?
We understand the temptation, but strongly urge against it!
While certain institutions—such as hospitals and nursing homes—are swamped right now, there are some significant misconceptions about the rest of the market. Here are a few of them:
- It’s impossible to reach decision makers. If anything, it’s easier! Our conversation and appointment rates have both increased in the past few weeks—likely because so many prospects are working from home.
- It will damage our reputation to make sales calls during this sensitive time. Actually, VSA has found that with a few adjustments to our messaging, we can fine tune the conversation from seeming like a sales call to being received as helpful outreach during a difficult time.
- No one is actually buying right now. Though it’s true that some industries are slowing down, in others business transactions are still proceeding. If you’re not making offers, you’ll surely miss out on viable opportunities.
- Using email probably works just as well. Though email works well during certain phases in the sales process, it’s still no substitute for live, human-to-human contact. With almost everyone working remotely, you might find your prospects eager for someone to talk to.
- When the economy wakes up, there will be pent up demand. Though there’s no guarantee that the pace of business will zoom right back to where it was in early March, pent-up demand means there’s a good chance of making 3rd and 4th quarter goals quickly. Thus, savvy and forward-thinking businesses are continuing to prospect; ultimately, they know they’ll still be accountable for reaching their goals, and this time of lower competition is an opportunity to seize.
This last point is key. At a moment when many businesses are scaling back or closing down, most companies are anxious to know who they can count on when business returns as usual. Reaching out to such companies isn’t offensive or annoying—if anything, it helps them recognize you as a stable, ongoing entity who offers them rare peace of mind.
Of course, you can extend this peace of mind to your existing clients, as well! We suggest calling up those you haven’t heard from in a while and asking if there’s anything they need. In frantic times, they’ll appreciate knowing that you’re still around to support them.
Some of VSA’s clients have embarked on programs like these—and they’re working. We’re here to help you navigate the post-pandemic marketplace, whether you have an immediate outreach need or are simply looking for a trusted partner to help formulate a new strategy. After all, we’ve acted as such a partner for almost 20 years.