Should You Sell During COVID-19?

Most companies are cutting costs, and as a result, will be looking for more affordable vendors or new ways to do things. If you pause outreach now and don’t build pipeline, you will be in a far worse place in 3 months.

First, let’s look at the data. After the data validates our decision, we’ll break down which target markets and solutions are safe to sell right now, followed by how to write a truly empathetic message that gets replies.


Sales Data During CV-19

LinkedIn reported a 2,781% growth in engagement. With engagement way up on LinkedIn, it’s no surprise our clients are seeing more connections made, and more conversations started. 


Based on 100 clients pulled randomly, with no changes to their campaigns, connection request acceptance rates are up 14%.


One of our clients even saw a 4X lift in replies and booked meetings in March versus February 2020.

Here were his sales metrics from Jan 20 - Feb 20:

  • Connection Requests Sent (1980)
  • New Connections Made (209)
  • Replies (59)

Here were his sales metrics from March 1 - March 30:

  • Connection Requests Sent (1758)
  • New Connections Made (373)
  • Replies (209)


Who Should Be Selling and Sold to During CV-19

Regardless of who you sell to, what you sell is equally important. For example, selling into hospitals is a hard no, unless you sell something with an immediate need: masks, disinfectants, recruiting Nurses or Doctors, critical medical supplies.

If you answer yes to one of these 3 rules, you should be prospecting:

  1. Can you help a prospect save money?
  2. Can you fill an immediate need that resulted from CV-19’s business impact?
  3. Can you educate your prospect on a better way to do business?


Free education is a great way to build your sales pipeline right now, which most businesses can leverage. Even selling into restaurants may be okay if you’re a financial advisor or CPA with clear advice on how to apply for and get the most cash from the stimulus package.


Having said that, there are a few industries that are more heavily impacted by CV-19, and therefore will have less cash or little time.

If you’re prospecting into one of these industries below, you should offer free value, instead of selling:

How To Write an Empathetic Message

Jake Dunlap stated it well, “Just saying, I know things are crazy right now, or I hope you’re well, without it connecting to something later in the message is not empathy.


Here’s how to write an empathetic message:

  1. Learn how your target market was specifically affected by COVID. Many construction firms are an ‘essential business’, so they’re still going to work.
  2. Tell them how you’re more affordable than whatever they’re currently doing.
  3. Change your CTA to something that would bring them direct value right now.

Real snippets from empathetic messages we’ve drafted for clients:

IT Consultant:

“Hey Lisa, I’m Trevor. Because people are running out of shows to watch on Netflix, we’ve hosted a free educational Zoom session for CTOs on how to verify if remote employees are staying productive. Mind if I shoot you the recording? If you’re too busy, I can send over a few bullet points instead..."

Marketing Agency:

"Jackie—Facebook Ad prices are down 67%, is it worth a short call to show you how my eCommerce clients are tweaking their ads to keep sales up?"

Job Platform:

“Hi Ajay! I have 10,000+ Tech professionals in Cali looking for new roles right now on our job board and would love it if you could speak to some. During COVID-19, we are offering free and unrestricted access to our talent pool. Can I follow up with more info?”



If you want Cleverly to write an empathetic message for you, then build your pipeline now, for when things pick back up, let’s chat.

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