Whether your business has come to a complete standstill or slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the way in which we do business has had to change. The economy experienced an unprecedented and unparalleled shock when COVID-19 hit the UK, with a significant impact on GDP and stalling in many industries from construction to production and services.
Once the government put social distancing and travel restrictions in place, the Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey by the ONS found around 25% of UK businesses had paused or temporarily closed for business. This figure has gone down but businesses are still trying to find their way back to a new normal. When looking at business recovery a key factor which comes up time and again needs to be proficient in sales and promotion. All businesses are going to need to push themselves and their products in new and creative ways, with sales becoming a key to all business recovery plans.
The ONS found the volume of retail sales fell by a record of 18.1% in April but as shops and other businesses begin to reopen slowly over the next few weeks, all businesspeople have the opportunity to put all they can into their sales and customer services, ensuring all customers feel valued as well as safe when dealing with your business. Here we’re looking at how to thrive in the new business world.
Embrace New Sales Channels
There is still plenty of demand for many kinds of product and service and consumers still need the means to access them. Alternative sales channels have become the norm for many, with your regular street-side vendor finding online means for their wares and many offering delivery services where they would previously have expected customers to visit in person or even posted via regular delivery methods. Many businesses have taken the chance to expand their eCommerce abilities and have branched out and developed a strong online presence where before they were reliant on foot traffic.
Other businesses have seen the benefit of going social and reaching out to their customers in this way. This is a great way of developing your soft selling skills and rather than shoving your products and promotions down people’s throats, you have the chance to build a buzz and a conversation around your products and services.
Upskill when Numbers Fall
Many businesses are also having to work on a skeleton staff basis or have had to reduce their employee numbers permanently due to the pandemic. While this can be extremely deflating and no business owner is happy to let anyone leave the company, it makes it even more important that the employees you do have are fully trained, experienced, and confident in their role. Beyond this, it is an opportunity to upskill employees in new areas to further enhance their skillset and their benefits to your business. Everyone has the opportunity to become a consumer champion, improve their customer service skills and make sales a focus.
At Key Training we recognise that not every is a natural salesperson but these are skills that can be taught, for the benefit of the individual and the wider company. We’re currently developing a dedicated Sales for Non-Sales People Course, to support those moving into the sales environment for the first time. We also have a range of Sales Training courses for those with more experience.