Personal Finance

Selling dos and don’ts in this pandemic age

Communicate continually
Communicate continually. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Here are three activities sellers can salvage or activate sales in this pandemic.

Spell it out: Don’t assume buyers understand the problem with the purchase simply because, “Everyone knows coronavirus has disrupted business.” Spell it out for them. In the same way, buyers are looking for a sizeable discount, because, “Corona has affected business” sellers can learn from this, and explain that, “the importation of the computer UPSs (uninterrupted power supply systems)will delay because the shipping schedule has been disrupted. And, because UPSs are heavy, it is not cost-effective bringing them in by air.” Shipping is not the buyer’s business, and, not knowing that schedules have been disrupted, he may incorrectly judge you, creating friction and possibly affecting the sale.

Man the public email address: Is your public email address the place where potential buyer queries go to die? Unfortunately, this is true for many companies. Yet this address (usually starting with [email protected]) is the equivalent of the casualty ward. Many of the patients are first time customers. This email address is the digital equivalent of a front office desk. It matters who mans it. Many businesses do not have a structured way of monitoring and evaluating its usefulness. A few see it for what it is and have a person in authority managing it. This could be by forwarding incoming mail to the respective person for action and following through the query to buyer satisfaction. That email address is a sales lead generator. Most buyers don’t expect a response to it even as they send a query. Just responding to it is enough to excite a potential buyer. In these times where many buyers are looking for solutions to their problems online, the need to monitor and evaluate the digital front-office is that more pronounced.

Communicate continually; Only two months ago, a case of infection by the pesky virus, would have led to the patient’s homestead being turned into a crime scene, with only ghost-buster dressed officials allowed in, and his or her significant others quickly dispatched into isolation. Today, we are learning of being asymptomatic and home-based isolation. A month ago the skies were closed but are now open. Only three months ago, online learning was all the rage, now many parents aren’t very sure whether they want to continue with it or wait for January; others are suing the government wanting in person learning to resume this September. You get my point: things are changing and fast. If there is anything that is certain in these times of uncertainty, it’s that constant communication is a soothing balm. Keeping the buyer regularly updated of progress of, say, the UPSs is necessary to keep the sale seamless. The buyer could still be worried that an infection in the ship could mean it’s retained at the dock; but maybe things have now changed and it’s being retained in the high seas!