Dr David Sweet & Dr Greg Story

SALES in the age of COVID-19: ‘Connect’ with your local Business community

This Webinar was a casual chat with two well know leaders in the Sales in Japan space. Dr. David Sweet and Dr Greg Story, with a core theme of Sales in the age of COVID-19. In addition, Robert Heldt from Custom-Media KK spoke about the evolving Connect Platform they have launched at the end of March, to support Businesses during this crisis.

Connect is a Digital Marketplace offering SME’s, Entrepreneurs and local Business in Japan free advertising, a chance to make offers to their market and a community of like-minded peers to support and gain support.

Dr. Story presented… Ten Dastardly Sales Mistakes useful for Sales in the age of covid-19 and the PDF of the presentation can be found here. Greg’s Sales Mastery Book is available from Amazon:
Japan Sales Mastery: Lessons from Thirty Years in Japan.

1. Wrong Sales focus

Don’t be too obvious about your interest (that is selling), Focus of your client’s.

2. Not compelling to Talk to

Better to start a conversation with “I have something that works for others, can I talk about it for a few minutes” instead of “how are you doing?”

3. Not asking Permission

Going straight to the pitch without asking some questions to prepare for it: “Can I ask some questions about this or that?”

4. Telling not selling

If the client wants to hear about “blue”, don’t pitch green. Frame. 

5. Not creating a sense of urgency to Act

Gap between where the client is and where it should be. The gap has to be perceived as big, otherwise the client will feel it can be done by themselves. If no assessment or no sense of urgency to fill the gap, no action is likely to take place.

6. Poor listeners

It’s not about what you want to hear, but getting the nuance to narrow down the real problem.

7. Not arranging the follow-up immediately

Don’t walk out of the meeting without an appointment set, on the spot

8. Slamming the square pig

Move-on if there’s just no match.

9. Losing track of clients

“No” for today is not a “no forever”. Try again in 6-12 months.

10. Only Talking about features

  • It’s about what is in it for your client (the benefits) and applying the features within their company, not about the tech specs (the details).


  • When Rejected because of “a headline” (ex: “you are too expensive”) ask why they think so, so that the client needs to justify the statement.

Dr. Sweet spoke about the environment Sales people find themselves in currently, due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses -Sales in the age of covid-19 and about Mindset, Strengthening Relationships, Self Development and Working Harder. David offers Executive Coaching and his book Sweet Sales is available on Amazon:
Sweet Sales: Successful Sales with Synergy: The Sweet Success Series


  • Have a strong mindset and convince yourself you can make sales, have a ‘can do’ attitude. Some sales people are succeeding. Are you? You can if you believe you can. If you don’t believe, you won’t. Fish where the fish are.
  • Find a place where you can sell (e.g. higher chances to sell ads to Bike shops than to hotels).

Strong Relationships

  • More visible = More value. Build strong relationships with communication. It used to be telephone/calls, networking and trade shows etc. were enough. Now it is social media, webinars, blogs. Give to get. Provide visible value on the Internet and social media channels.

Self Development

  • Sales
  • Time management
  • Motivation

Working Harder

  • Identify KPIs that lead to sales (RFQs and face to face meeting)
  • Take the KPI’s and goals you had during a good market, and double them because it’s going to be tough for a while.
  • People will continue buying during the COVID19 crisis, it’s gonna be harder to sell though, so be smarter, and work harder.
  • When things turn around, by then you will be a rockstar.

I also gave some of my own thoughts on using LinkedIn and the social web to build your network in a targeted way, in a ‘not all about you and what you want’ way, focusing first on Networking and a focus on others.

A recording of the Webinar has been uploaded here on YouTube and embedded below.

Keep an eye on the Join the next Webinar page and if you are not yet a member of BIJ Group on LinkedIn, please do join and events and other Japan and Business related information is also shared on the Business In Japan Company page here. Please follow and help us get to over 1,000 followers so that we can then do LinkedIn video straight from the page.

Big thanks to the continued sponsorship and support of webinars from Teleworkr.com and TekMonks 株式会社.

This Post was written by Jason Ball, a “Fixer” and people Connector, in Tokyo and owner of the Business In Japan | LinkedIn group Founded 2/2008 | 58,000+ members as at 2020, 35%+ in Japan.