3 Tips for Selling During a Supply Chain Shortage
Supply chains are the crux of the US economy, but when the pandemic hit, they were the first to fall. Everything from toilet paper to dishwasher replacements parts were unavailable, and while we’ve been able to buy our favorite 3-ply again, thousands of materials remain out of reach. The supply chain shortage is reaching a head just as the US starts to reopen, with doctors unable to complete long-awaited surgeries due to medical device shortages and contractors holding off jobs because lumber is 4x the normal price.
As alarming as the supply chain shortage is becoming, that doesn’t mean you have to stop selling altogether. The best sales managers know that selling starts now and holding off will only hurt the company once supply chain issues are solved. But, how do you convince customers to sign on the dotted line when they won’t see immediate results?
1. Consider Taking Your Time
Use this rare opportunity to take your time moving prospects through your sales process with personalized approaches. Rather than sending out the standard cold emails to every qualified lead, take the time to ask specific questions about their problems and discover their dream solutions. With this information, you can easily determine which aspects of your business fit their needs while also giving you the opportunity to build a better relationship. Normally, sales managers would never support spending more time than necessary to build the customer relationship, but these are not normal times. With a better relationship, these customers become invested in your brand, and therefore more likely to spend more than they originally anticipated.
2. Sell the Story
Supply chain shortage or not, the way you tell your story and how it connects to your customers is an essential part of the sales process. A sure fire way to get your story across is with personalized presentations that are engaging and interactive. Whether you’re a roofing manufacturer and need to show varying material options or a medical device salesperson and want to explore unique features of the product, presentations are the best tool to feature specific elements of your solution. Using callout buttons to make each page dynamic and interactive can also shorten the standard long-form presentation and keep the customer immersed in the story you’re selling.
3. Be Transparent and Stay Connected
A sales presentation that immerses the customer in the story is essential when it comes to the most difficult aspect of the selling during a supply chain shortage: transparency. The fact is that many sellers are looking at delivering their products or services upwards of 6 months after the sale, rather than the typical 2-3 months. While customers would normally have an issue with waiting so long, your ability to connect with them on an emotional level during the sales presentation can change their outlook. After you close the deal, set up personalized automated touches with the customer to stay connected as they await your services. This can easily be achieved with solutions like Hatch which helps you build templates and simple automations that can nurture the relationship. Connecting with customers leading up to their appointment and throughout the sales process can make all the difference in not just closing the sale, but also building better relationships and increasing referrals.
When trying to sell during a supply chain shortage, there’s no one perfect solution but the right combination of sales practices and tools can make all the difference. Taking the time to get to the root of a customer’s problem, delivering a strong, personalized, presentation and staying connected after the sale closes creates loyal customers that are willing to work with an extended timeline. Learn more how tools like Ingage and Hatch can help take your business to the next level, no matter what the supply chain looks like.