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Social Distancing Selling – Will this be the future?

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With the uncertainty of the Covid-19 crisis, businesses have been adapting and transitioning with more thought given as to how and why we do business.We have moved into uncharted territory, where events & networking which are usually used to generate new leads have been cancelled or moved online. Sales teams are working from home and not muting your microphone has become the new ‘reply all’. We aren’t sending brand messaging, but focusing on business or consumer pain points and how we can alleviate them. We are tearing down, pivoting and creating new business models entirely, however will social distance selling be the future? 

We are changing the way we operate to adapt to changes in behaviour, and technology is helping this shift. Technology is booming, with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Chief Executive stating that traffic in video calling and messaging is booming, and Amazon is hiring over 100,000 employees to keep up with the surging demand. Digital technology is forcing itself more into people’s lives, with e-commerce and live streaming the new norm. 

More traditional industries such as the car industry are making waves by adapting and integrating technology into how they do business. As an example, Mercedes Benz in China ran a WeChat campaign, where consumers could see 360 degree interior views of it’s GLB SUV. Geely, a Chinese car manufacturer, launched its online sales system that offers consumers a completely contactless, one stop solution for ordering online. It includes modification of vehicle specifications, online financing and insurance and the option of home delivery, rather than picking the car up from the dealership. It also uses drones in select locations to pass on new car keys directly by delivering to doors or balconies and furthering the distance between staff and consumers. You can now buy a car without ever setting foot into a store, a complete social distancing solution. 

Absolut Nights, an events brand associated with Absolut Vodka, launched a once off live streaming event through Douyin (similar to TikTok) which features popular DJ’s. Consumers could join in at home, and get Absolut Vodka delivered to their house or tip the DJ’s through the app. Despite night clubs and bars not being open, people are still able to enjoy this form of entertainment from their own homes and the sales of drinks will continue to rise. 

In terms of B2B, the crisis has unexpectedly breathed life into often underutilized B2B solutions such as virtual meetings, online education, digital healthcare, telecommunications to even logistics. Sales teams are using online conferencing to network and generate leads, and these remote collaborations tools have grown exponentially. Using online automated lead generation platforms such as Leado to increase leads and automate sales funnel decreases the need to meet up and talk in person in order to get leads. Potential partners and customers are also spending more time online, so they are easier to engage and connect with.

Contactless solutions are becoming more prevalent, and consumer behaviour is continuing to change. Adapting your business strategy to accommodate these changes will ultimately get more people to try your services or products and mitigate reduced performance during the crisis. However once businesses are back to normal, will this shift in behavior endure? People are creatures of habit but businesses will also need to rely on their ability to continue to solve consumer problems. Only time will tell. 

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