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Selling Out of Survive Mode - using the 4C Model

Challenging Times

For a start ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ is probably the worst advice to give!

We are in one of the most challenging times most salespeople will have ever faced. As such it not ‘business as usual’ and to try to address it in the same way as normal by just throwing in a bit of video conferencing technology, firing off emails or swamping social media would be a mistake.

The whole environment is different, and sales professionals should embrace the opportunity to do something different and keep their competitive edge. Using the 4C Model helps. It is about continuing to add value to customers and helping the relationship move towards ‘Thrive Mode’ faster.

4C Model


A salesperson needs to stay calm in these times. They need to think clearly.

It is likely there is a good deal of panic amongst customers and by being and projecting calm the salesperson can help their customer to start to take back control by making more considered decisions.


It is absolutely right to keep on touch. The question is, with what intent?

If it is to take advantage and try to profiteer that is the wrong way to go about things. Difficult times do not last forever, and memories ca be long. That is not to say that sales cannot be made and if a salesperson has a genuine solution to a customer’s potential issues then it is important to discuss this.


The real reason to stay connected. To show that customers are important as people as well as for the business they provide.

This is an opportunity to be humane and is likely to require high EQ (emotional intelligence). Checking in with people on a personal level and offering assistance in whatever way helps will be the order of the day. Be prepared to shift outside the normal ‘scope of work’


A ‘trusted advisor’ should be the position a salesperson aspires to work from. Now is the time to walk the talk.

Hopefully the sales professional is already considered something of a sounding board, so there is the opportunity to build on this. Good questions are always useful and guiding customers through thinking models will also be highly valued. In the current climate with self-isolation likely to be a factor there is time for better quality reflection that might not always be possible in the everyday workplace. Glass half (well at least partially) full.

It could be argued that this is how a modern salesperson should operate anyway. Whether it actually happens is probably the more pertinent point. The current environment gives an opportunity for something of a ‘reboot’.

Sales success in the future will be influenced on how salespeople decide to act today.



  • Using the tech
  • Session overview
  • Personal objectives

Understanding Change

  • Moving along the change curve
  • Individual reactions

Useful Thinking

  • VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity)
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ) –
  • Sales best practice (Classic, Consultative, Value based, Enterprise)


  • Panic zone
  • Performance vs Stress payoff
  • Stress and the body
    • Adrenaline – freeze/fight/flight
    • Oxytocin – the ‘hugging hormone’
  • The Chimp Paradox
  • Tools and techniques
    • Breathing
    • Anchoring
    • Self-talk
    • Mind/body link


  • Intent and conten
  • Selecting the right media
    • E-mail, phone, virtual meeting
    • Social media
  • Telling stories
    • Formatting experiences


  • Compassion and vulnerability
  • Empathetic listening
  • Triggering feel-good factors


  • Sensitive questioning skills
  • Generating insight
  • Structured thinking models
    • Gap analysis
    • GROW
    • Business Model Canvas

Action Points

  • Personal Development Plan
  • Contact Plan
  • Making it happen