Depending on what part of the country you’re conducting business in, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have had a fairly broad range of impact on your business climate. In some parts of the country, this virus has created havoc, in other areas it seems to have had a lesser impact. On a more personal level, for some this has proved to be tragic while for others it’s been an inconvenience.
Regardless of our individual circumstance, we all have to eventually seek out how the pandemic has permanently changed consumer behavior, and what we can all learn from this rather destructive and unfortunate life lesson.
Sales Lessons Learned from Operating During COVID
Perhaps the biggest impact this pandemic has had on our everyday life are the state-to-state orders requiring people to remain in their homes. For some it’s been a matter of weeks, others it’s extended into months of relative isolation. Bottom line, more people have become better at using their computer to investigate, research, shop, and buy the product or services they are considering.
Second, while many of them didn’t pull the trigger and actually BUY the product and services they were looking for, consumers certainly spent more time investigating and doing their homework. If you were in the market for a new boat before the pandemic, while you may have delayed buying a boat, the desire to own a boat and the opportunity to shop online didn’t go away.
So, what do we learn from this situation? Here are three things you have to learn and understand. These lessons are life lessons that are unlikely to go away.
1. Never Underestimate the Power of the Internet again!
Your website, along with your customer’s ability to FIND your website is more important than it was even three months ago. Your potential buyers have been searching for a community and researching homes via the internet for months. For months they have been visiting and revisiting websites in search of their “ideal” place. The question now is, did they spend more time on your site or your competitor’s site? If your website isn’t generating more leads than you need to sell all of the homes and lease all of the spaces you have available, the answer is they were spending more time on someone else’s site. That needs to be fixed.
2. Never underestimate the Power of Immediacy and Frequency
Immediacy refers to how quickly you respond to an inquiry and frequency refers to how often you try to reach out to the prospective customer. In your business, if you don’t know, you already have a problem. Immediacy, in today’s world, is measured in minutes, not weeks, days, or even hours. Frequency requires not one or two attempts, but something closer to the double digits, six of which need to be in the first 48 hours. Let me also suggest that without an effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system this will be impossible to measure. And that which you cannot measure, you cannot improve.
3. Never Underestimate the Power of a Personal Relationship!
The person who builds a personal (as opposed to a business) relationship with the prospective buyer first almost always wins. This is being proven over and over again. While technology may give the potential customer quicker access to a world of information, it is also a world of autoresponders, automatically generated e-mails, impersonal contacts, and emotional emptiness. Finding a community or a home is as much an emotional decision as it is financial. If not more so. The sooner you can reach out to the potential customer in a personal manner, and a personal relationship is built, the more likely that prospective customer will be sitting in front of your desk instead of spending time with your competitor.
So, there you have it. These are three powerful lessons that will either be learned from COVID-19 or they will be confirmed by COVID-19.
Either way, implement these lessons into your business and you will be handsomely rewarded. Failing to do so will likely have a far greater impact on your bottom line than you would ever care to admit.