Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

Sales Skill

I think the fundamentals of sales does not change. The only issue in a crisis or an uncertain or volatile environment is that a lot of new requirements come in. Ask yourself the following – what is the new problem that you want to clear for your customers? What are the new/existing products that will solve their newly risen worries? And what is the compelling proposition that you have which solves their worries and problems.

A case in point from my sector can be the fact that cyber-attacks have moved up by a significant percentage. Each of us is vulnerable with respect to a cyber-attack right now. An individual cyber insurance product wouldn’t have been my first compelling proposition to the customer two months back. Today it is. Today it is one of the most important necessities with issues like phishing, malware attacks etc. With all the data getting shared across and the rising cyber risk, this is the product most suitable to be pitched during this crisis. Hence, the fundamentals haven’t changed. It is how fast we adapt to a change and give a customer the right solution.

Secondly, I can’t meet a customer. Nobody would want anyone to pay them a visit right now. But at the same time, an insurance sales is conversational. I still have to have a conversation with the customer in a way that he understands why it is this critical for him to have a particular product. How can I do it digitally without being overbearingly digital – like the cold calling or the SMS blasts is the second skill set that should be looked at.

Third, is the empathy that we have for our customers shouldn’t disappear in our virtual conversations. When the body language cannot be observed the next skillset that we need to have moved on is from assessing the body language to the tone language.

Fourthly, invest in yourself – your product should be future-ready, but so should you. Educate yourself with the latest trends, try out new models and strategies. A lot of content is out there, free for your perusal waiting for you to invest your time and energy. Be the change, instead of resisting the change.

Lastly, don’t get greedy, just because you can communicate to more, don’t do it while losing the personal connect. Give your customers the care and attention that they expect from you since sales is all about building trust and maintaining relationships.

Bold Predictions for a Post COVID World that will Impact the Sales Profession Drastically

  • The Growth across sectors would be capped. We live in a connected world – a slowdown in one sector has a domino effect on the other. So, we are all in this together
  • Start-ups and MSMEs will bear the highest brunt. Incumbents will survive albeit if they transform and align their offerings to suit the post COVID world
  • Inflation and stagnancy in job growth for at least the next few quarters
  • Work from home will be the new normal. Institutions not offering that will be at a loss of productivity and attracting good talent
  • More and more contractual project-based jobs to replace the traditional long-term employment leading to a gig-economy

About the author

Tapan Singhel is the MD & CEO of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company. He has over two and a half decades of rich experience in the insurance industry. He has been with Bajaj Allianz since its inception in 2001 and was an integral part of the team starting up the insurance business in the retail market. He has been involved in various international projects like setting up of retail business for Allianz in China and Bancassurance development in the Asia-Pacific region. Based out of the company’s headquarters in Pune, he leads the company’s overall growth strategy.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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