Our March Brews & Brands last week was, hands down, the best session ever. And it began with a simple question: What now? In light of current events, how do we all pivot from a high-touch way of doing business?
What followed was two hours of fantastic conversation, questions, insights and ideas. Here are just some of the highlights. It’s our sincere hope that these suggestions help provide a sense of direction right now.
Double Down on Sales And Marketing.
Don’t lose momentum. It would be easy to feel like you’re capitalizing on other people’s misfortune. You aren’t. They need you now more than ever. You’re providing solutions in challenging times. Or you need to be. Tell them how you can help.
(Tip: Focus on diversification and consistency. What else can you do? How can you maintain your presence?)
Broaden Your Definition of Networking.
This has been true for awhile; it’s gospel now. Are your salespeople equipped and trained for video and screen-to-screen conversations? Find what works for them and for you. Stay in touch with every customer. Find a way to ask. “What do you need right now?”
View all of this through the lens of your brand. Internally, how are you helping employees? They’re worried. Externally, how are you communicating with clients? They’re worried, too. The answers shape your brand more than anything else you’ll say or do right now.
The more personal the means of communication, the better. If customers and employees can see you or at least hear you, especially in the current environment of isolation and distancing, that’s much better than texts or emails.
If it’s possible — and it is — call every customer. Just ask one question: “Are you okay?” Then listen. And help. Stay above the noise. This is your opportunity to demonstrate value. One member sent Owl 360 cameras (the camera automatically turns toward whomever is talking) to some of their clients to heighten the sense of engagement.
(Question: How do you maintain collaboration in this environment? This is really important. Improvise.)
Replace Perception With Reality.
After a storm, roofing contractors descend on damaged neighborhoods. It can feel predatory. But how many of them show up with tarps on their trucks to help stop or prevent water damage inside?
The right marketing conveys stability. A consistent, positive story that points the way through a problem to a solution. How can you disrupt your audience’s thought process. How can you use the tools you have? Email? Video? Webinar? Phone calls? Podcasts? What else?
Your biggest opportunity right now may be philanthropic. Who’s emotional right now? Fear is not a rational state. You need to understand and empathize with the fears your customers or employees may be experiencing — then help them get past those fears. Your brand needs to be calm and reassuring.
What are you worried about? Remember that you’re not normal, because no one is. Everyone’s worries and concerns, especially right now, are unique. The best marketers and salespeople are therapists, too.
We hope you’re okay. If you need help, let us know. Call Allen at 812-399-1400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re all going to get through this together.