3 May 2021|Business Growth, Crisis Management, Latest Posts
The Covid crisis has been tough on all of us in many ways but if you are running a business then you need to do all you can to keep creating opportunities to connect with people and to work towards your goals.
If your sales have been negatively affected during the pandemic, here are five key focus points to keep in mind moving forward.
1. Speed is Critical
In a pandemic, it’s important to be able to offer an online option and to get your services up and running online to maintain connections with current and potential clients.
And this is where speed to market plays an important role. The quicker you can respond to the needs of your market, the more it entices and excites your customers. They want to interact with your offer and start using it so that they can reap the benefits and solve the challenges they are facing.
By going fast, you set the pace as opposed to letting your competition do so and you will be able to keep momentum going to stay ahead of your rivals. Remember that sometimes getting things done is more important than having them be perfect and that is certainly true of your online presence in a pandemic. Once it is up and out there in the marketplace, you can refine it to your heart’s content and create versions 2, 3 and 4 so you are always innovating and making your service better.
So rather than slow down, you need to speed up and in the words of Rob Moore – “Start now, get perfect later”.
2. Focus on Your Key Clients
Often what happens when we go into a crisis is that people think they’ve got to expand their sales funnel but actually what you need to do is put your sales funnel under the microscope and identify those key prospects who are going to buy.
Once you have identified them it’s crucial to nurture those relationships. For example, picking up the phone, rather than sending an email, or offer to have a Zoom coffee chat.
Don’t try to sell in these meetings, just show that you are truly interested in what is going on in that person’s world. Let them know that you’re supportive and ready if they’ve got any questions, or if they want to use you as a sounding board.
By doing that, what happens is you strengthen those relationships because the key here is to stand out from the crowd. There’s a good chance your competitors won’t be doing this and remember – at some point the client will buy.
3. The Timeframe Lengthens
Although companies and people still buy during a pandemic, we need to remember that the timeframe lengthens.
For example, let’s say you are a career coach, from the time you have the first conversation with your prospect to the time they buy might normally take three months. But in a pandemic that timescale will lengthen, and you might have to add a few extra months.
Knowing this means that you will be able to gauge better how many more people you need to get into your sales funnel so that you have got roughly the same levels of sales coming through your business.
What you don’t want though is to be inundated with potential clients so that you can’t interact properly with or service them all. Taking on too much will often dilute your effectiveness and that can quickly have a negative effect on your brand. Equally, however, you don’t want to create too many gaps in your revenue, so it will be a challenge to balance your workload and it’s important to recognise that.
4. Be Seen as the Leader
When going through a crisis such as the pandemic you need to keep showing up and providing value because it’s the businesses that do so that will come out of it stronger once the crisis is over.
Of course, we recognise that this has been an incredibly tough time for a lot of businesses, and many have folded as a result of all that’s been happening but hiding away isn’t going to help generate that much needed income during this time.
The fact is, when you keep showing up, you let your clients know that you exist, you let them know that you are still here providing a service, helping and supporting your clients.
By doing all that you will naturally demonstrate your leadership and show your clients that you are not allowing fear to get the better of you. This gives your clients confidence that they are putting their business in the right hands.
5. Keep Investing
Always keep investing in yourself, your business and your team so that you can come back stronger once the pandemic is behind us.
I’m a great believer in having a lean, agile business and recommend that you do a full review every six months to ensure what you are investing in terms of money and resources is as close to optimal as it can be. So often even seemingly small one-off and monthly fees will add up and can be a drain on your business.
Equally, as business owners we need be aware that money is an energy and it needs to flow. If everyone stops buying and goes into hibernation then we bring the economy to a halt.
Stay positive and look to the future
Although the day-to-day realities of living in a pandemic are far from easy for most if not all of us, it’s important to remember that the situation will not last forever. And during the pandemic, if you can upskill and invest in yourself and your team then it could be just the right time to take those steps.
Keeping positive is a real challenge but there is every reason to feel that whatever efforts you can make now will pay off down the line.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carole Bernadette Bozkurt is a Sales & Marketing Strategist and Business Mentor. She works with coaches and consultants to help them create their GO-TO market plan, attract their ideal clients and turn them into paying clients. Carole is the founder and CEO of Blueprint Group Practice.