Leading sales through COVID-19

Posted by Ty Deemer on Apr 22, 2020 10:40:56 AM

Although a large percentage of green industry businesses have remained operational during COVID-19, the economic impact has been felt when trying to develop new business. In a recent poll, only 6% of green industry professionals said requests for estimates/proposals had stayed the same during the pandemic, while 69% stated their number of requests had dropped, and 25% had their proposals and requests increase.

 

We recently launched a webinar series where we ask green industry leaders across the country to give their insight into how they are combating the different issues that have arose from COVID-19. In our most recent webinar, we asked panelists how they were approaching business development during this time. Here is what they had to say.

 

It's time to double down

Jim Wertz -  President, Jim Wertz Consulting

"Being in business for 35 years, I've seen a few down economies. When I started my business in 1979, we were basically in a lockdown. It was back when the oil and gas embargoes were going on so interest rates were 17%. Nobody was doing anything or buying anything. It's basically a similar concept than what we have now. You double down and you go hard, that's the only thing you can do. It worked then, and I believe it will work now."

Zech Strauser - Founder & President, Strauser Nature's Helpers

“We're approaching business development by doubling down. If you asked me 10 days ago, I thought I was going to have to retreat a bit, but then once reality hits you, you say, "No, no, no, no, I have to double down." So I think that's the ultimate approach is you have to put twice the effort in to maybe only get half the results.”

Mike Voories - Chief Operating Officer, Brilar

“We're still pounding the pavement, pounding the phones as much as we possibly can, staying in front of our customers and our prospects as much as we can”

 

Stay in front of your customers

Michelle Myers - Founder & CEO, Pink Callers

"I think that the use of Facebook right now is over the charts. Customers are spending hours and hours on Facebook during the day. So that's really where your customers are living and breathing right now. Please go there. Advertise on Facebook, it's really inexpensive and a nice way to be in front of your customers. You also need to be having somebody there to answer the phone, answer those emails, continue to nurture those relationships."

Mike Voories - Chief Operating Officer, Brilar

"We’re focusing on the customer. We offer free tips. We offer some knowledge. We offer some education without directly trying to sell. But we talk about what's important to them because as much as it stings us as business owners, customers don't care about our business as much as we do.”

 

Switch up your sales strategy

Zech Strauser - Founder & President, Strauser Nature's Helpers

“I'm asking my sales and account management teams to do a sales collaborative. They are having much more focused sales team meetings where they're trying to lean on each other, and work on each other's strengths. It's not just a free for all each salesperson or account manager, it's how they can all support each other during this strange time. I think that's really important.”

 

Ask for referrals

Jim Wertz -  President, Jim Wertz Consulting

"You really have to get true with your customers and find out how you can improve your business because they'll tell you and it's great information. Then, not only that, take it a step further and ask for referrals. A lot of my guys will ask for a referral and the customer will say, yeah, I'll get you a referral. I'll do a Google review. You did a great job. But then they never do it because they get busy. Life gets in the way. You've got to ask them again. It takes 30 seconds and it’ll be the lifeblood of your business. Especially now with so many people with more free time than they have ever had."

 

Provide quick turnaround times

Michelle Myers - Founder & CEO, Pink Callers

“Have the technology and processes in place for when a new customer calls, you're able to do an estimate, give them a price, and get them on the schedule immediately. That's really where we're seeing companies thrive when they have that technology and those tools in place.”

 

Leverage established relationships

Michelle Myers - Founder & CEO, Pink Callers

“We actually get very transparent on the phone say, "Look, we're here to keep people working, and we really want you to see if there's any way we can get this work done this week. This is really what we need." And we've been given the go-ahead from our clients to be super transparent like that. And I think consumers want to hear that. Consumers want to help. There's a lot of goodwill out there. And so if you really connect with the consumer and the homeowner and tell them what you're after, I think people are really going to amaze you."

Jim Wertz -  President, Jim Wertz Consulting

"Ask for help when you talk to your customers and say, "Hey, we're in a tough time. I really want to move forward. I want to get the ball rolling, but I need your help." There's nothing wrong with asking for a little help because people are people and most people are willing to help you out if you need it. I'm not saying beg for it, but just be honest, "It's a tough time. I'd really appreciate your help," and it works. A couple of my guys have been doing it and they've been turning the corner with people and they're saying, "Okay, let's do it. Let's move forward." So keep that in mind."


To watch the entire recording of this webinar, click here.

To learn how SingleOps is helping green industry professionals run their business digitally during COVID-19. Get a personalized demo here.

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