With the onslaught of the Covid phenomenon, suicide, mental illness, divorce and depression rates have all gone up. Sadly, salespeople aren’t immune to this. A new study conducted by Dr. Good says that salespeople are actually lonely and it’s costing you, the business owner, your sales. Here’s why…
Zoom isolation is the first reason for salesperson loneliness. As one rep says “I used to be busy all day going places, now I sit here all day”. The sameness of the experience of virtual meetings are also at play. “I’m with 20 customers a day, and everyone feels the same.” After all, salespeople are staring at a square on a page day after day. It starts to blend in. Lastly, salespeople are lonely because they are socially isolated in general. One client told me “My customers are the only outlet for a social adult conversation I have”. No wonder they’re feeling lonely.
Why It’s Killing Sales
The first reason why salesperson loneliness is killing sales, according to research, is because social skills deteriorate. When awkwardness in talking to customers and prospects enters the picture, trust decreases, buyer engagement decreases and of course, purchases decrease. Another interesting problem the research uncovered was that lonely salespeople lose focus on their customer’s pain. During sales conversations, they have less instances of deep listening, lower recall of critical customer data and therefore are unable to position themselves as a solution to the client’s pain. Lastly, a surprising result of salesperson loneliness was overspending on gifts to customers and prospects. To compensate for the lack of results and engagement, when salespeople send more gifts, it sadly doesn’t translate into bigger sales.
How To Help
Helping your reps to socialize is the first step. How do you do that while in isolation? Dial down the competition between reps for starters. Introduce a social hour or team building zoom parties like my client Anne Mitchell sells. She has an annual engagement program where you can unbox a chips and salsa gift box as a group and enjoy it during a zoom cocktail hour. Next, introduce a support system like a peer-to-peer program, implement re-training programs or hire a coach like me to help them stay engaged and motivated. Lastly, get crystal clear on your super niche, your target and your message. The less confusion they have, the more they’ll be in action.
With the Great Resignation looming at your door, make sure to heed the research and make sure that your salespeople never feel lonely again.