We’ve spoken in the past about Selling During COVID-19. As our team works hard at home, we’ve found one thing makes a big difference in our call outcomes: empathy.

Selling with empathy simply makes sense. After all, no one likes a pushy salesperson at the best of times. Empathizing with prospects has always been a key portion of Bandalier’s sales process, but our classic questions weren’t doing the trick. Far from it, in fact – standard rapport-building questions like “How is your day going?” elicited highly negative responses shortly after the start of the pandemic. Our teams realized that it was time to ask better questions.

In a stellar bout of A/B tests, each team prepared new questions and tracked the responses they received. After two weeks of testing, Zach Gaskill’s team emerged with a clear winner: “How are you holding up?”. It’s a simple, casual question that leaves plenty of room for creative responses – both from our reps and their prospects. Our simple rephrasing acknowledged the challenges that we were all coping with. Asking folks “how they were holding up” received positive responses up to 70% of the time. Prospects opened up about their experiences working from home, and our reps did the same. Call times lengthened and results improved.

Empathetic listening has been key to Bandalier’s success over the past few months. By focusing on the prospect’s need for social interaction, our reps were able to hold better conversations. As we continue to adapt to the idea of a new normal, our best questions change – but our commitment to selling with empathy hasn’t.