How do you sell in a coronavirus environment?

coronavirus environment

I’ve received several variations of this question in this tumultuous time. So it’s probably on a lot of minds. Here’s my view of selling in this coronavirus environment.

First, let me suggest that we need to view our businesses and our customers through a lens of grief.

That may seem like a weird word to use in a blog post about selling. Grief is usually associated with the loss of a loved one. Every single person I know is experiencing loss in this coronavirus environment. It could be the loss of …

  • economic security
  • freedom to travel
  • a workspace
  • a social life
  • a job
  • weddings and celebrations
  • support network
  • sports, entertainment, and dining
  • the ability to work without children hanging all over you

… and I’m sure there is a lot more. We may be in the planet’s most disruptive period since World War II.

Everybody is working through some stage of grief due to these sudden and dramatic losses.

So what does this have to do with selling?


The tone of the country (and much of the world) right now is somber. It’s fearful. It’s a nation in grief.

How would you sell to somebody at a funeral? That is the mindset you need to take right now in this coronavirus environment of anxiety and grief.

Would you put a hard sell on somebody who is grieving? Of course not. Here’s what you might say to a grieving friend:

  • What can I do for you?
  • What do you need right now from me and my company?
  • How can we ease your pain in this time of loss?

In my mind, that’s what selling is about right now. Which is not selling at all. It’s about helping, showing sincere compassion, and building relationships that will last far beyond any stupid virus.

Make sense?

Here is a Facebook Live video I did to explain the idea behind today’s post in more depth.

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

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