"We'll Wait Till The Covid-19 Threat Is Over" Selling In A Pandemic

12 replies
If you sell online marketing services...or just about anything else, you'll hear this objection to any sales offer "We'll wait until the pandemic is over" or "We aren't doing anything until business starts back up".

Believe it, this is going to be the "Go to objection' for the next several months.

And I have searched Youtube for a video that has a sales trainer give a great answer to this objection. I haven't found it. ....so here you are.

First, never wait to get this objection at te end of a presentation. If you do, you lose the sale.

Never hope that they won't mention the pandemic...because they will. It's the number one thought on everyone's mind, so you have to deal with it.

Here is the solution. Ask how the pandemic is affecting their business, at the very beginning of the sales call, or even in the prospecting call. You want to know their thoughts on it, and you want their fears exposed. No matter how they think about it, no matter their level of dread, their anger at any political party, they hopefulness of the future...and how long they think this will last...you need to know as soon as possible.

In fact, I would want to get this out of the way before I even agree to see them.

Why? Because i need to know their perspective...because it's how we are going to frame our approach...and our offer. For example;

They say "Our industry is being decimated. I doubt if we will survive". Now you know that you have to approach this as a "Solution that guarantees your survival".

A good question to ask is "Would you say that you are in "survival mode" right now?", (They say Yes. They have to because they just said it) "Would you like to know the best way to guarantee that you'll come out of this at least as profitable ans when the pandemic hit?" And they will ask "How do you do that?' and the answer is "I make sure the existing business goes to you, instead of a competitor. Would you like to know more?" And now you present your offer as the solution to that viewpoint.


If they say "We don't know how long this will last. It may never get back to normal".

Ask "What would be the longest that the worst part of this could last?" and then "Do you think everything will perfectly go back to the way it was a few months ago?" You want them to say "Well, not exactly. But at least so we can keep doing business".

And you can say "We may be able to help you with that. The best way to stay profitable during this crisis is to take advantage of the business that still exists. Make sure they come to you, and not a competitor. Does that make sense?"


But Claude, what if they are saying it's all a hoax?

If they are on the other side of this argument and say something like "It's all blown out of proportion by the media. It's just the flu!".

Never argue. Never disagree. (No matter what their view is) Use any rationale they have to guide them to your offer as the solution.

You can say "The problem is that most of your customers are believing the hype, am I right?" (Yes..those sheeple!)

"So we have to concentrate on the people that are still buying. We need to make sure they are funneled to your business and not your competitor's. Does that make sense?"

See how we are using any response they give us as a reason to learn more about our offer?

And why won't they bring up the Coronavirus as a reason not to buy at the end?

Because you have positioned your offer as the solution made specifically to help them survive this pandemic.

The pandemic is the reason to buy now, not the reason to wait.

Of course, you have to adapt this to your offer, to your personality. But remember, they don't have to agree with our view of this virus to buy. We adapt to them. They don't adapt to us.

I hope that helps someone.
#pandemic #selling
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author myob
    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    The pandemic is the reason to buy now, not the reason to wait.

    Of course, you have to adapt this to your offer, to your personality. But remember, they don't have to agree with our view of this virus to buy. We adapt to them. They don't adapt to us.
    This pandemic framing strategy also works great for selling physical products. I often use the pandemic (and other disasters or significant events in local markets) as a reason to buy products now or invest now in capital equipment.

    Buy [in quantity] today while products are available and prices are still reasonable. Luckily for me, prices are almost always going up or products discontinued anyway, so I usually come out looking like a hero.

    Of course, this time around prices may crash. Hopefully, however, affiliate programs will keep prices in line with economic conditions so we can have "post-pandemic" specials and "coronavirus survivor" discounts.

    "Never let a serious crisis go to waste."
    - Rahm Emanuel
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11596859].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      I've seen this "cold read" approach save deals in this environment.

      They layout in summary what the situation is.

      Because that is what is top of mind.

      It shows you have a read on the situation.

      That's important to calm the mind down of the other who doesn't
      make good decisions under extreme stress like so many are under now.

      The lead in goes something like this...

      "It's been called a "sh!t show".

      You are being held hostage, not by one but two...

      The State Governor and your office building owner.

      Money coming in dries up and bills keep coming in.

      You don't know when you'll be able to open up again.

      You don't know how you could start again.

      That's the bad news.

      The good news is..."

      Then you lead in with the good news offer.

      Robyn Robins used this "cold read" approach to save 80%
      of her conference sponsors being refunded which would of likely sunk her business.

      Saving all kinds of businesses expenses now with this
      negotiating strategy is in much need now.

      I know a company that's doing it.

      It trained Robyn Robins and her team to get that result.

      Best,
      Ewen
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11596895].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    The few main points of my post were;
    1) Know that you are going to get this objection.
    2) Find out how they view this Pandemic (usually based on political leanings)
    3) Position your offer as the solution, specifically to how they see the pandemic.

    This pandemic, and how it's viewed is primarily seen through political eyes (Here in the US anyway). You have to account for that. and you have to align your approach to they own bias.

    I wish we could just use the facts, and use the same approach for everyone, but that's not the world we live in now.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11597011].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I wish we could just use the facts, and use the same approach for everyone, but that's not the world we live in now.
      I took some heat in another thread for being the guy that was out and about "Selling" when the shutdown orders started taking effect. I have since laid off the subject. But the reality is I never stopped selling... Actually I am selling far more now than I was then.

      For me personally aiding a business that remained open because they were "essential" ment my service servicing them was essential. but anyways...

      I totally get what you are saying you need to understand what side of the fence they fall, it changes the tone of the presentation. However in this case "the facts", they are universal. Most business' closed down. They have to open back up and bring customers through the door. It is literally that simple.

      Has anyone noticed? We have stepped into a time warp that took us back probably 30 yrs or more. Stores close every night. I am finding many are closed on Sunday. There is hardly any traffic after like 10pm. During the day people are all walking around... Its like freakin Mayberry out there.

      Has anyone noticed? Newspaper sales are way up? More people are watching the local news? Mail advertising has little to no competition right now? People are damn excited to see your 9x12 in the mail.. it may be the only thing other than a bill they have seen in weeks.

      There was a reset in time - I say screw online efforts ( in terms of local markets ) Newspaper ads and some TV time during the local news is doing REAL GOOD right now. And that EDDM thing O M G.

      So how I am selling right now... If the business is open, I ask to speak to the owner / manager - just like any other day. If the business is closed I call them... in most cases the line has been transferred to the owners phone at this point - so getting in touch with the decision maker has been SUPER EASY.

      I would say in 90% of the calls I have gone to step 2 of the sales process, the person on the other end wanted to meet in person AKA get out of the house and actually talk to someone. I have a 10' Stanley tape measure on my belt.. when we meet I pull it out and joke about keeping 6' apart - THIS for me has been the bit that determines what side of the fence they are on. They either appreciate it, or they ask you if you are kidding. Its a GREAT ice breaker.

      My sales push has been far less about sales and more and more about re-assurance. Look the Pandemic and the mess we had no control over... but business, and getting people back into your store - WE as a team can control that - everything will be all right. WE ( as a team ) can get you through this.

      These last 2 months for my business has been C R A Z Y. Banners and Print has been off the charts. My construction teams have been going in and helping modify business interiors to meet the new required norms. They ( construction ) have been building outdoor spaces for restaurants We are pre building 10' x 10' deck pads that a table can be placed on.

      We have been building ecomm sites and working with local business' to get their products online on our sites and on facebook marketplace and where ever else.

      For me it has been getting the person on the other end to transfer the fear / anger of the situation into action - and turning the light at the end of the tunnel on for them to see.

      THIS is what it comes down to, its not they believe or they don't - its FEAR and ANGER and BOTH have blinded most business owners from any sense of knowing what to do, let alone actual options they can be doing now as we sort through the whole re-opening mess.

      Sell with compassion and empathy right now... be there for them... be that calm that has been missing in these peoples lives.

      Because here is a truth... covid-19 is not going to be over any time soon... this is going to be a thing for a while - Business has to change for the changed market. In turn Marketers have to change as well. and the moment you are approaching sales from a point of "Fear" ( Im sorry we only do no contact sales ) guys like me will swoop right in and take the sale from you - Just remember we have stepped back to Mayberry.
      Signature
      Success is an ACT not an idea
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11597094].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        Because here is a truth... covid-19 is not going to be over any time soon... this is going to be a thing for a while - Business has to change for the changed market. In turn Marketers have to change as well. and the moment you are approaching sales from a point of "Fear" ( Im sorry we only do no contact sales ) guys like me will swoop right in and take the sale from you - Just remember we have stepped back to Mayberry.
        Most likely, the Covid-19 will never be over. Already, as much as a third of the population may not accept the vaccine once it becomes available.

        One-third of Americans may refuse coronavirus vaccine, according to poll

        We will be marketing in a totally different environment for many years to come. This essentially is the message I send out to all of my customers and prospects.

        My business model itself, however, has not changed all that much except in scale. I have always done cold-calling, door-knocking, mass mailing, writing articles for newspapers and magazines as well as online publications.

        And because I market in about 27 major industries, technically I am included as an "essential business", so I also do make in-person business appointments with customers and prospects.

        By accident I stumbled on a marketing angle that has cracked open a huge underserved niche for virtually any business which still has skin in the game. I partnered up with a small local printing company selling signs, banners, window stickers, and spinners saying "We are OPEN". The printshop is not so small anymore.

        I do mass mailings and cold calling nationwide and making a killing promoting those three word signs. This is turning out surprisingly to be the best cold contact method I have ever had for reaching such a wide variety of businesses and industry, and generating leads.

        Despite the gloom and doom sayers, there seems to be a lot of companies doing exceptionally well, although they are adapting and innovating in major ways for a new economic landscape. Emerging technologies and perhaps whole new industries are in incubation right now.


        Overheard in Mayberry
        "Have you ever listened to some folks for a minute and thought... their cornbread ain't done in the middle."
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11597166].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Well, one thing I know is that frozen meat being sold door to door is selling like crazy right now.

    I talk to some of the guys doing it, and I've seen the proof. There ARE those who say door to door sales is dead...or shouldn't be done, but it's working.

    Now, I'm not going to go out and do it, but, I know it's working.

    I said that to say this...

    regardless of what you sell, at times, it is very wise to change your product and go with what is selling instead of sitting back and waiting for times to get better.

    Door to door sales is still big business. There are some who think its glory days are past...but I can tell you without a doubt that's not the case. Look up some Facebook Groups and read some of the stories. There are still fortunes being made.

    It's not for everybody obviously...but it's a thought.

    Changing your thinking can sometimes change your life.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11597060].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author myob
    Some of my best customers have been the result of door-knocking. Although I wouldn't approach residential areas right now, B2B is working extremely well as is cold calling and mass mailing. More people are working from home or starting their own home business now than ever before.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11597072].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by myob View Post

      Some of my best customers have been the result of door-knocking. Although I wouldn't approach residential areas right now,
      That was my thoughts also...

      but some of these guys are doing just that and making a load of money.

      I've been a member of a couple "door to door" forums for quite some time and occasionally check-in to see how things are going...

      some of these guy/gals are some of the ballsiest (word?) people you can meet.

      Doors slammed and hearing no doesn't phase them...they live for it apparently. Myself, I'm not much of a masochist for that type of thing.

      However, some of these door to door knockers are true die-hards...I've seen the piles of cash they collect and the pictures of happy customers they service.

      I guess it takes a certain type of person to do the whole door to door thing...but it's alive and well, to say the least.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11597079].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

        I guess it takes a certain type of person to do the whole door to door thing.
        Before the pandemic, I required all of my sales reps to go door knocking and/or make cold calls at least 10 hours per week. It's the best exercise to hone your sales skills and stay sharp.

        Personally, I would never buy from anyone going cold door-knocking during the lockdown. If they demonstrate such disregard for the health of others and bending rules, what does that really say about their company and products?
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11597081].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author max5ty
          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          Before the pandemic, I required all of my sales reps to go door knocking and/or make cold calls at least 10 hours per week. It's the best exercise to hone your sales skills and stay sharp.

          Personally, I would never buy from anyone going cold door-knocking during the lockdown. If they demonstrate such disregard for the health of others and bending rules, what does that really say about their company and products?
          I've noticed a lot of these people are mobile...they'll hire others to work for them and move from state to state sometimes.

          A big thing lately seems to be high ticket items like roofs and siding (besides the meat which is popular)...

          These guys will track storms like hail storms and then move into the area and contract with homeowners for roofing and siding jobs that have been damaged from the storm (insurance usually covers the damage), then they'll sell the leads to a local contractor and move on.

          The whole network will usually update each other. Someone will report Georgia is off limits...or South Florida is hot...etc.

          The amount of money these people pull in is amazing. It would seem like a hard lifestyle but I guess for some the money is worth it. There are those that just love the adrenaline rush from the whole game.

          I classify it as the same type of setup as the boiler rooms that do the whole telemarketing thing.

          Anyways, I didn't really mean to take away from Claude's excellent post. Sometimes my mind wanders a little I guess and I haven't always been able to figure out why. The point I was really trying to make, is these guys will change what they're selling depending on the market and other conditions because they're good at what they do...which is the takeaway I was aiming for. It's good to be flexible.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11597083].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author myob
            Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

            I've noticed a lot of these people are mobile...they'll hire others to work for them and move from state to state sometimes.

            A big thing lately seems to be high ticket items like roofs and siding (besides the meat which is popular)...

            These guys will track storms like hail storms and then move into the area and contract with homeowners for roofing and siding jobs that have been damaged from the storm (insurance usually covers the damage), then they'll sell the leads to a local contractor and move on.

            The whole network will usually update each other. Someone will report Georgia is off limits...or South Florida is hot...etc.

            The amount of money these people pull in is amazing. It would seem like a hard lifestyle but I guess for some the money is worth it. There are those that just love the adrenaline rush from the whole game.

            I classify it as the same type of setup as the boiler rooms that do the whole telemarketing thing.

            Those types of door-knockers (and "boiler room" telemarketing operations as well) don't really have a clue what they're doing. The amount of money that can be made from door-knocking and cold-calling is indeed amazing, but when leveraged with follow-up marketing strategies, it is staggering how much potential is actually being left on the table.

            Door-knocking of course is hard work, but there is hardly any competition for those who know how to play the game. For me, the adrenaline rush comes from making contact with business executives and influential movers and shakers who become repeat customers and referral sources.

            What I do is assign my sales reps to geographic areas or business districts within their hometown. They are expected to "farm" these areas by door-knocking, cold calling, email, etc and build connected relationships.

            Most of them do make a whole lot of money just from door-knocking and cold-calling, but the real payoff is repeat orders, larger orders, and referrals. In fact, much more money comes from referrals than initial sales.

            Working smart will always beat working hard.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11597179].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          Before the pandemic, I required all of my sales reps to go door knocking and/or make cold calls at least 10 hours per week. It's the best exercise to hone your sales skills and stay sharp.

          Personally, I would never buy from anyone going cold door-knocking during the lockdown. If they demonstrate such disregard for the health of others and bending rules, what does that really say about their company and products?
          I agree, for the same reasons.

          With that said, timing is everything and for some reason food has been hard to get around here.

          If someone did knock on my door with a truck of food...

          Depending on how empty my freezer was would depend on if I bought.
          Signature

          Selling Ain't for Sissies
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11597088].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics