Sales in the Time of Coronavirus

3 min read
Apr 28, 2020 12:00:00 AM


Do you think it’s inappropriate to be writing about sales during the COVID-19 crisis? How can we think about selling, about business (as usual), when nothing is usual?

I’ll attempt to answer those questions, but first a little background on why I’m even writing this:

I procrastinated the past few weeks on a writing assignment for a sales class: HubSpot’s Pipeline Generation Bootcamp (PGB) class, which HubSpot offers for free to its partners. As a final wrapup to the classwork, I was supposed to write a reflection in the form of a blog post.

Our last class was March 3rd, and it goes without saying that what I would have written on March 4th is different than what I’m writing now. I’m writing this in a different world.

So what can be said about what I learned in that sales class, in that different world, that applies to life in the time of the coronavirus?

One of the tenets of the class was that “it’s not a cold call” if you’ve done your research about the prospect and you’re calling to help. The motto of the class was “always be helping.”

I was required to make lead lists, get out of my comfort zone, and make phone calls. Nervous, I’d spend an hour or more sometimes researching a contact, his or her company, and coming up with ideas about how I could help them before I’d pick up the phone and dial.

The results were mixed depending on my confidence level and who I reached, ranging from being hung up on to becoming the needed friendly ear to someone struggling to overcome a challenge.

And that’s what it all comes down to now. 

The strategies and tactics — best time of day to call, the opening line, how to handle objections, when to use video in the sales process, etc. — are innovative and effective, but are besides the point. 

The point is: always be helping.

We’re in this together and the only way forward is together. 

The crisis has reinforced what we should have always known: the only true solution is one built together, in community.

Let’s spend more time helping our clients. Many of them are hurting.

Let’s be kind to each other. People have personal struggles even if they aren’t obvious.

Let’s be kind to ourselves. I’m imperfect, say the wrong thing at times, miss some opportunities that should be obvious, and procrastinate on blog posts, but if I want to always be helping, I need the confidence to make corrections and move ahead.

A few ways CommonMind has tried to help our clients are:

  • providing free video production to a client that has been forced to close all it’s locations and shift to online;
  • developing a plan for a client to stay engaged with its client base despite a risk of having to cancel all its services for the year
  • offering to set up and write email newsletters (at no cost) for a client whose current sales channels are starting to dry up
  • listening attentively to people who are hurting and worried

What do you think? What are some ways you have supported others or felt supported?

And what do you need? Whatever it is, I’m here to help.

Will Rico

P.S. I write the above with gratitude to our HubSpot instructor, Dan Tyre, who is a model of everything I wrote above.

P.P.S. The title of this blog post and the imagery were inspired by Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez.