By Kendra Lee
Let’s cut to the chase. Are you weathering or withering right now? While none of us has experienced a pandemic before, think back on previous challenging times: The Great Recession, 9/11, and if you’ve been in business long enough, the Dot.com crash. How did you handle those crises?
You Get to Pivot
Now is the time you get to pivot. Yes, “get to.” It’s an exciting time. The glass is half full and there are rainbows after the storm.
Look around at how creative companies are being. We have clients who’ve developed whole new solutions, posted them to their websites, set up shopping carts, and started promotion in a matter of days. At the same time, I’ve spoken with clients who’ve cut their technical, sales, and marketing staff to the bone and hunkered down to wait for their customers to cancel. Which example resembles your reaction?
Weathering is an opportunity to expand your business, or at the very least rethink it. New offerings, messaging, tools, webinars, sales approaches, and in some cases new staff.
Sales are Happening
Lead generation has not stopped. Sales are happening. Five clients I’ve spoken with this week shared excitement about new clients who just engaged them, new projects that launched, and current customers who reached out to say, “I’m ready now.”
Where are those buyers hiding and how did our clients find them? Just as you are either weathering or withering, so are your prospects. You’re looking for those who continue to run their businesses as usual or see opportunity in the situation and are moving forward. Yes, people are harder to reach but when you reach them, they have longer conversations. Marketing is tricky, but if your message is one people want to hear, they’re reading and listening more carefully and responding.
In uncertain times like these, it’s the sales-led organizations that weather and survive. If you haven’t operated from a sales-led position previously, it’s time to change. Even if calling is harder than typical, your conversations are empathic, closing is gentle, and the marketing messages are compassionate, business is happening – if you’re looking for it.
Ask Yourself the Tough Questions
It’s time to ask yourself the tough questions and make the appropriate changes, especially if we’re headed for a new normal. Use these 16 questions to evaluate your sales and lead generation, determine how well you’re positioned, then make some changes.
- Have you developed or repackaged a solution you can sell right now, one that prospects need today?
- Have you planned an offering prospects will need quickly as your area begins to re-open?
- Have you retained your sales staff or committed yourself to doing the sales activities?
- Are you calling all clients and prospects with greater frequency?
- Have you pivoted your sales discussion from a long-term perspective to near-term needs?
- Are you persistent, using all your prospecting skills to reach contacts without giving up?
- When clients share a need, are you offering a solution rather than holding back out of concern they won’t be able to buy right now?
- Have you attended webinars, watched videos or read blog posts that will help you quickly adapt your sales approach?
Lead Generation Evaluation
- Have you continued to fund your lead generation budget, potentially even increased it to be more visible and available?
- Have you increased communications with clients and prospects?
- Are all new solutions created for this crisis live on your website and being promoted?
- Are you sharing a combination of helpful recommendations and ways people can engage with you for immediate assistance?
- Are you using a personal, engaging content style?
- Do you have a how-to webinar planned for the next 2 weeks?
- Are you posting testimonials from clients who are thrilled with the support you have provided through this pandemic? Are you asking those same clients for Google Reviews?
- Are you continuing your search engine marketing highlighting your offerings that are most relevant right now?
- Are you planning a new campaign to launch as your area begins to open up?
How did you do? In challenging times like this, you must take the actions that will help you weather them rather than do nothing and wither. New opportunities are out there, and sales are happening. It’s time to go find them.
Tools to Pivot
I’m hosting a webinar series diving into very timely topics that will provide you specific strategies to pivot sales and lead generation. Register now for the next webinar in the series, Email Prospecting for Uncertain Times, where I’ll share how you must change your emails from subject lines to signatures.
Other tools you may find helpful:
- Check out the Selling in a Pandemic section of our blog for tips and articles.
- Watch the Resource section of our website for new guides. We’re posting a new one every other week.
- Listen to any of the Generating Leads in Uncertain Times Coffee with Kendra webinars for specific strategies to generate leads and sell right now.
We’ve been furiously creating resources for you and are amassing quite a pandemic library. Please use them to pivot and find new opportunities.