Selling During a Storm: Pitfalls for Outbound Sales Teams

Clueless is what some salespeople are when it comes to understanding what is going on.

If you’re in sales, you have to be aware of what might be going on in the mind of the customer you’re dealing with.

This is especially true of salespeople who rely on the telephone and email to communicate.   As I write this, Super Storm Sandy has been bearing down on the east cost of the United States for the past several hours.

If you are a sales manager, let your salespeople know about the storm, regardless of where they are, and how it will impact the ability to reach customers in parts of the country that are being hit by the storm.

If you want to be seen as a village idiot, then go ahead and make prospecting calls to somebody who is in the midst of a crisis and see what kind of a response you get.

You’ll be seen as a village idiot, and needless to say, the damage you will do to yourself and your company could potentially be huge.

The rule I tell salespeople is to back off and go prospect in another area of the country.   Yes, it’s hard to determine exactly when to back off and when to proceed, but as long as you have other prospects you can be reaching out to, then put your focus on those people.

All of this might seem quite basic, but I’m amazed at the number of people who share with me stories about how various salespeople tried to sell to them during the midst of a natural disaster or some other major event.

If you do have to reach out to a customer who is in the midst of dealing with a natural disaster of some sort, you owe it to them to acknowledge their situation immediately.  Again, this is basic but I’m amazed at the number of salespeople who do not demonstrate this level of sympathy and respect.

Turn the table, put yourself in the storm and see how quickly you would become frustrated at someone calling you for something that is not urgent.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.




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1 thought on “Selling During a Storm: Pitfalls for Outbound Sales Teams”

  1. Thanks for the timely, useful tips, Mark. We’re also asking all SJN staff members to reach out to current clients and active contacts near the storm area to determine whether we can offer personal or professional resources.

    We’re talking to businesses closer to Sandy than they thought they would be, about how we can provide support. No not sales calls, but reaching out with whatever we may be able to offer.

    One final thought: there are a lot of people who are going to need assistance over the coming days and weeks. Why not add a Red Cross donation link to your website.

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