For most, bringing on a new client was challenging enough before the introduction of the chaos and complexity that currently exists inside the business world.

To bring on a new client before meant generating interested prospects, identifying decision makers, establishing a relationship, uncovering a need, communicating value, writing a compelling proposal, competing with competition and following up effectively. This year has required of us an entirely new set of skills in order to bring on the same number of clients. The ability to work, network, communicate and sell through video. These skills, to name a few, have become a minimum requirement just to stay in business.

For those of the opinion that things will be okay when things go back “to normal” the consensus is that this will not be for a while yet.

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According to a survey recently conducted by McKinsey around 90% of B2B decision makers expect the remote and digital model to stick around for the long run, and about 3 in 4 believe the new model is as effective or more so than before COVID-19. Unfortunately if we are waiting for things to return to the way thing were, we may be waiting for a “Back to normal” Future that never comes.

New skills and new behaviours are required of us now if we are to not only survive but thrive. For sales professional this is part of their role. For business owners, consultants or account managers this adds to the ever growing list of skills required of them, over and above their specific industry expertise.




So what is the one key skill that is required above all?

According a survey conducted by the RAIN GROUP in August 2020 71% of buyers identified one skill as more influential in their decision making than any other. This was;

“Leading a thorough discovery of my concerns, wants and needs”

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This confirms previous buyer research conducted which found “sales winners” demonstrate that they understand buyer needs 2.5 times more often than second-place finishers.

As a consultant, business owner or sales professional your time is valuable. With that in mind we recommend you focus mastering the skills that are going to move the needle the most.

Craig Herd, Consultant


Want to discover how to have right conversations in order to win more work? Then watch the recent SBR webinarConvert Sales Activity to Sales Results”.

To talk to us about Social Proof, drop us a line at or call us on +44 (0) 207 653 3740.

At SBR we’re dedicated to providing whatever support our clients require to guide them through the ongoing crisis. You can sign up to receive regular updates and join over 4,000 others who enjoy access to our unique research insights, expert guidance and advice.

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