The Evolution of Sales and Negotiation in 2020

By: Network Lead Exchange

2020 was an unprecedented year in so many different ways, but first among them is navigating a changing business world with a worldwide pandemic. Sales and negotiation changed incredibly during the past year. Spending time with sales expert Dale Dupree was a great way to learn about the changes occurring and how businesses can leverage the new environment to their advantage. Topics discussed include the changes of the sales process, negotiating leases and contracts, and other helpful hacks from the past year.

Dale Dupree is a sales maven, he’s head of The Sales Rebellion, podcaster, and a self-styled sales therapist.

The discussion started out with Dale talking about how radically sales interactions shifted over the past year. Instead of face-to-face interactions, everything became a Zoom interaction. Social media was also discussed, and how it became a forum for business leaders to add value for their customers. Specifically, LinkedIn was discussed as a forum which is in the process of massive growth thanks to the pandemic. Since business people are looking for alternative ways to connect, this platform has arrived as a top method of connecting with new prospects.

Dale then bluntly discussed the mistakes that different sales professionals are making during the pandemic. He was especially passionate about pointing out the fake empathy play, and in the discussion, detailed the importance of being real and empathetic with people. He discussed the importance of shifting the mindset from territory to community. He also discussed the mistake of offering discounts on the front end. Devaluing a product never works in his estimation, and he advised not to pre-emptively discount and detailed a myriad of reasons for keeping pricing where it is, but how to offer discounts in a meaningful way, if needed.

The next topic became a bit more personal. Dale talked about the need for a story, and how the journey should be personal. He spoke of his late father and the transformative experience he had at his father’s funeral. Furthermore, Dale detailed the importance of being a real person first. Talking intimately about a journey fulfills the need of people to connect. He added that people prefer to buy from their friends, and doing business is more fulfilling when its friends helping out friends, instead of a transactional relationship.

Cold calling – another area of transition – was the next topic. Dale talked about different strategies with cold calling, and how the call needs to be the culmination of an effort, not the first entreaty towards a customer. He talked about how his company uses “Repair Bricks” and the connections made through those bricks before they ever get prospects on the phone. Furthermore, he spoke about the outmoded ideas behind cold calling, but maintained that cold calling still works – and works well – when it is done effectively.

The next topic was the relationship between the customer experience and the sales experience. For Dale, customer experience is the sales process. He spoke about how providing people with a different experience makes them curious – no matter how long they’ve been with another company. Giving people a responsive, nuanced experience is something that must be embedded throughout, and authenticity is key. Dale explained some tactics he’d use to pique the interest of the more difficult prospects, and the mindset taking shape when the experience becomes appetizing.

The discussion shifted to the importance of networking in sales. Dale talked about the credibility that networking provides, especially with referrals. He used the question to go back and talk more about the importance of relationships. At the same time, he talked about the different things that can be offered with networking, networking events, and how-to bring people together to keep building strong, sales oriented networks that are mutually beneficial.

Dale then talked about his podcast and the philosophy behind it before offering closing remarks. The evolution of sales and negotiation as Dale described is about being personal and relatable. Learn more about these concepts @ NETWORKLEADEXCHANGE.COM, and check out the entire panel by clicking here.