Do you have a sales strategy for the extreme business climate of Covid19 Quarantine?
Many business owners have had a hard time getting their head around how to adapt to our rapidly changing situation. Social distancing, employee health and safety, working from home, stock market swings, cash flow concern, oil prices, un-employment, payroll… this crisis is like nothing we’ve seen in our lifetime.
In this current Coronavirus situation, it sounds out of place and maybe silly to ask about having an effective sales strategy for your business. But I’m arguing it’s crazy not to.
The vast majority of us are going to suffer substantial business consequences from the Covid19 pandemic. Two key key questions are how severe will the consequences be and what can you do to minimize any negative impact?
I’ve observed some business owners struggle with the “fight or flight” response while making decisions about navigating through this storm. Flight looks like cutting any possible expense; including employees who may be able to help support both present and future revenue. While there are clearly situations where there is no choice but to board up the windows and hunker down, many businesses are in a sort of “no man’s land” which can breed a lack of decisive action toward sailing the ship to safe harbor.
I’m working with clients to execute three basic tactics as their adaptation strategy for the Covid19 pandemic. Most business owners can execute the tactics which follow as a “fight” strategy.
1. Solidify your ability to meet any sales opportunity that arises
This may sound obvious but in practice, it’s not. The general population, including your employees, is having fear fed to them with large shovels. Scared employees will not execute or service any customer opportunities as well as confident employees, which can easily translate to lost business.
It’s your responsibility as the business owner to protect your employees and ensure they have safe conditions and training which gives them confidence. Address their concerns over safety. Engage with them in the details that both meet changing customer needs and give them the knowledge to work safely with confidence.
2. Actively seek innovative ways to serve your customer’s emerging needs
The Covid19 pandemic has created a new normal for everyone. Be proactive in adapting to the new normal by seeking new ways to sell your products and services better than the competition. Military training teaches this as ‘adapt and survive.’
Broaden your field of vision and consider with the new normal: What new needs have developed? Who could be your customers? How can you differentiate your business within the new normal? Prospective customers need capable suppliers who are fighting to stay in the battle with them.
3. Energize your new market prospecting
Every business leader I’ve ever worked with has a dusty list of markets or customers they were going to get to someday. Well someday has come.
The Coronavirus has served as a huge market disrupter with no industry or geographic boundaries. Dust off those plans from last year and the year before; arm them with your capabilities from Tactics ‘1’ and ‘2’ above; and go on the hunt. It’s cliché because it’s true, you’re either a hunter or you’re being hunted. Where competitors may be hunkering down and waiting for things to go back to the way they were, you have an opportunity to provide valuable products and services to the new market reality.
I would be happy for things to go back to the way they were on January 1, 2020; our clients’ businesses were booming which means our business was booming, and there was no global health threat.
I am also happy to help business owners adapt to the changing landscape so that they not only survive, but overcome and succeed. The three components of a Covid19 Sales Strategy outlined above will keep your resources mobilized towards successfully navigating the ship and help prevent your business from sinking amidst this new normal.