Selling in Sensitive Times

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Hey, your hosts (should) know all about this!

If you are a supplier to the casino industry, sending out “sales messages” can ruin your business and destroy relationships rather than generate new business if not approached carefully. Even if you know your product can truly help the casino and time is of the essence – a poorly timed message can be extremely detrimental.

With the current pandemic and how it has affected businesses all over the world, proper communication is more important than ever. Nearly everyone is struggling to keep their business afloat, but we can’t panic. We have been offered a unique situation. One in which we can reset how we have previously done business and to quote Raving Partner, Steve Dahle, “be bold.”

There are basics that anyone who is “selling” to a customer should follow. The hardline, arm twisting, high pressure “hard sell” tactics some use work only on a very small percentage of people. For the majority, it is a huge turn-off. This is true for both the person calling as well as the one receiving the call. When you are more concerned about “making the sale” instead of actually getting to know the basics – Who am I talking to? How do they communicate? What is important to the person I am talking to? How can I help them? – your calls will not be answered or returned.

Communication is key in every situation; in personal relationships, business relationships and even in just casual conversation. We all fail at this daily! Clear communication is what will determine the difference between customer satisfaction or customer loyalty. People are looking at how you do business NOW more than ever before. From how you are treating your guests (and team members) to how you are communicating with them. They will determine who they will do business with based on what you are doing.

Use this time to improve your communication skills by using these simple steps:

Introduction

The first critical step in communication is to initiate or establish a relationship. This is the first time where you don’t have a thousand things going on at the same time. So, relax and introduce yourself, get the customer’s name if it’s not known, and perform “cut-in” procedures. Set the stage with a proper introductory period.

Touch and Read

Find a way to touch the customer that allows you to read them. Ask if it’s a good time to talk. Do they want to visit, chat, spend time with you? Are they in a hurry, don’t want to be bothered, want their space? Are they in a playful mood, upset, happy? By reading the other person, you develop cues as to how to handle them during your sales pitch or call. If it isn’t a good time, find out when you can call back!

Find Commonality

We all have one thing in common right now, Covid-19. We are all dealing with this crisis in different ways. So, ask questions:

  • How are you doing?
  • What do you miss?
  • How are you staying busy?
  • What are your expectations when we reopen?

Then, listen! Use any new information as a way to lead the conversation or create a future touch point. This is true no matter if we are dealing with a unique worldwide pandemic or if it’s “business as usual” … ASK, LISTEN, LEAD! Important tip: take notes!

Recognize Opportunities (or the lack there of)

Did they mention something that you can help them with? Is this an opening to share a product or service that can help them? If you didn’t see an opportunity to “sell,” that is FINE! It’s about the customer, not you! Use what you know, to schedule a follow-up call to check-in. It should never be “one and done” when communicating with anyone. Always look for opportunities to keep in touch. Communication should be ongoing and never ending. If you are only calling when you want something (a sale), you are making a big mistake.

Again, people are much more apt to do business with you when they feel you care about them, their needs, and don’t treat them like a number. This is also true with your team members. Are you just relying on them to call a hot line or are you actually calling each person in your department to update them, ask how they are doing, or just saying hello?

It doesn’t matter who your customer is, either a paying guest or part of your team. Everyone wants to know that their needs, wants, and expectations are just as important to you as making that sale or revenue. Those businesses who demonstrate that concern and care through clear, consistent communication will see success when this is all over.

Janet Hawk

Janet Hawk