As a successful business owner, it is very likely that unless you are working on the frontline or have been selling toilet paper, face masks or hand sanitiser, your income reduced significantly at the start of lockdown. Your breakthrough technology or scientific innovation may have the answer, but you’ve lost customers or have not been able to secure those contracts you were promised before lockdown. It's tough for anyone to envisage the new normal as we come through to the other side. Pipeline has suddenly become minimal and you are most likely thinking of how to fill the funnel all over again.
Whilst we all want to survive, for some the key is to thrive. Your attitude and how you react now is critical. You need a plan of action that will work for the current environment.
Here are a few keyways, I have identified to navigate as we come out of lockdown and help you make that plan a reality.
Firstly, get really clear on what your clients and prospects need right now
o How can you support clients as we come out of lockdown? How can you support them through the transition?
o What is their ‘new normal’ going to look like? Talk to them about this
o More than ever, it is time to think strategically and creatively about how you can effectively serve your clients
Adjust your messaging
o To reflect client needs now and in the coming months
o Be open about budgeting and payment options. How can you continue to work together?
o People are already fearful, so let us not make things worse by negative messaging
o Do NOT make jokes about the current crisis! It is insensitive and crass, and most of us now know someone who has been painfully affected by Covid-19
Create a plan for the ‘new normal’
o What key marketing activities are you going to concentrate on now? Get really focussed
o Do you need to pivot your business model?
Keep communicating with clients
o Let clients and prospects know you are still available to them
o Offer reassurance - showing how you are going about protecting yourself and others
Keep communicating with your employees
o Your employees keep the wheels turning, make sure they are safe and well, not just physically but mentally too. As well as a weekly online meeting, offer a time you are available each day for private conversations
o Give your team meaningful tasks, not just stuff to keep them busy, for example, set them a challenge to come up with ideas on how the company could look post-lockdown
o Invest in training to ease them into the ‘new normal’ to support clients and the sales process more effectively
Address the gaps in your knowledge
o Get better at being online (conferences, Digital marketing, use of LinkedIn etc) YouTube
o Identify gaps in your knowledge and service delivery, and invest in training