Q&A: Learning from your customers during a global pandemic

Sales & Growth

Sales team strategies and plans continue to evolve amid COVID-19 but one truth remainsthere’s no better time to truly connect with your customers.

Connection looks different, quite literally, through a screen, but it’s not the time to shy away. It’s an incredibly valuable time to nurture those relationships, learn from your customers and bring that knowledge into your business plans. Let’s discuss.

What’s the best value we can get from our sales team?

Sales teams are those out and about, our boots on the ground. They’re the ones who are equipped with the deepest relationships and impeccable listening skills.

Have teams showcase those skills by truly hearing what customers are saying. Ask why five times. Peel back each layer. Hear to understand. Then collect that knowledge and back it to the office. Your sales team is your company’s ear into the truth your customers are living.

The relationships your sales team have are deep, meaningful and not to be lost.

The more conversations taking place, the greater your understanding is of the market.

What’s more? Customers feel cared for. Understood. Like their relationship with you is human to human. And the feedback from our experience has been great.

What’s the new norm in connecting?

In person coffees and lunch dates are on ice—now what?

Lean into and take advantage of the technology we’re surrounded by. Virtual meetings can be formal through Zoom, or informal through WhatsApp.

Tell your sales teams to dive in. The only way to get used to these kinds of client meetings is to get started. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  Give them the tools and permission to take the time to get to know their accounts, and the market more effectively.

Have teams understand they’re helping from a distance. Encourage them to practice listening with empathy and enjoy learning new connection skills.

After all, it is connection, even if it looks different.

How does this help us look to the future?

Building a greater knowledge around various clients, their clients, their clients and so on is ever valuable.

At this point, the future is tomorrow. It’s hard to know what next week holds, let alone a month from now.

As a leader, your sales teams are gathering intel to help you consider what you’ll be making and selling post COVID-19. What services are going to be most important? Profitable?

Many companies will need to reboot, and you can start thinking about that, your new attribute map, with the details your sales teams share.

A final takeaway

Truly listen to what your customers are saying and how it effects your business. It’ll help change your strategy, even your company if needed, moving forward. And don’t look to sell—add value and await the rebound. And if you need a jumping off point, reach out.

Mike Knapp


Mike has been helping businesses achieve their goals for more than 20 years. He believes there is a better way for business owners and leaders to build their businesses and achieve their big goals. As a Gravitas Impact Premium coach, he leverages the 7 Attributes of Agile Growth™ to simplify the art of strategy and discipline of execution.

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