I realize that we are still in a worldwide pandemic and understand the seriousness of this deadly virus, but I cannot stress the importance of being physically seen by your customers. Zoom and Teams meetings have their place and are a great way to stay in contact, but it doesn’t replace being in front of your customers.
Humans need interactions. We are social creatures and need to have contact with others. You can do this safely; it can be done responsibly. You just need to follow the COVID-19 guidelines.
Do not shake hands. I struggle with this when someone reaches a hand out to meet you; it is very hard for me to turn down the handshake. It is not recommended, but if you’re meeting someone for the first time, it is a difficult thing to turn down.
You should keep social distance, which isn’t that hard to do, staying six feet apart. Wearing a mask is pretty much commonplace at this point, but it is amazing how many contractors have not worn them for meetings and when going about their business. You have to be smart and take care of yourself.
90% Of Life Is Showing Up
I started with a new company in the middle of this pandemic. It is only my third job in the past 31 years, so getting out and meeting my new customers has been paramount.
I have picked up a ton of new business solely because I have been the only person willing to stop out and see these customers who are dying for attention. Contractors would never admit this, not even to themselves, but the fact is they are darn glad to have a distributor to stop out to help them and provide some assistance. If you are not seeing your customers, there is a good chance someone else is!
If you just hunker down and do not get out, there is a good chance when you do emerge to circulate that you might not have many customers left. The opportunity to strike is now! Chance favors the bold, and luck is preparation meeting opportunity. You can pick any slogan you like; they all fit and work with the current environment.
I realize this article might offend some folks, but you can do in-person meetings safely. I have been running sales calls throughout the pandemic. I am a high-risk individual because of preexisting health conditions, but if you follow the protocols that are in place, you can move about safely.
I have had a good friend pass away from COVID-19 and know plenty more who have had the virus and have struggled with it, but honestly, it was not a surprise — these folks did not take the right precautions and were lax in their approach to dealing with the pandemic.
I am sure everyone reading this knows people who have had COVID-19 and you were not surprised that they got it, as they allow all kinds of people into their homes, do not wear masks, and never socially distance.
You need to proceed with caution for sure, but getting out to see your customers is mandatory. If not, you will lose business. If not today or tomorrow, trust me — sometime soon, you will lose them. I have been seeing customers in a new marketplace during this rough economic time, but even in this tough environment, our sales have grown like crazy. We are up over 40% year over year, and I have to think a good portion of that is just due to the fact that I have made the effort to go out and engage these customers.
It is like parenting: Sometimes the most important thing you can do is just to show up.
Contractor Comfort Level
I challenge everyone to run more sales calls. If you are already running sales, then run that extra call at the end of the day versus going home. The principles for growing sales are the same today as they have always been. It might even be more important today than ever. You have to get on your horse (car, plane, etc.) and ride.
You should never just assume that your Zoom meetings will do the trick. If you are trying to grow sales, that cannot effectively be done without getting out and meeting with these new prospects. The contractors are out seeing customers daily and are used to seeing multiple people in a day, so even if you are reluctant, that doesn’t mean that your customer is as well.
The fact is, they want to see that you are grinding away like they are, and they appreciate you going the extra mile to make sure they are being taken care of.
Good luck and happy hunting!