We might be in a crisis, but the very worst thing a company can do is to buckle under the weight of fear. Leaders who are sitting quietly in a corner waiting for this thing to blow over run the risk of not having a business to go back to when the crisis finally does pass, writes Sabri Suby, founder of digital marketing agency King Kong.
There’s a good chance you might run a business that is literally unable to sell in its current form. You might be a travel agent, an events business, or one of the many other businesses that have been forced to close their doors to the majority of diners.
The biggest question I’m asked by these businesses is: can I sell right now or not? The answer is always yes, no matter what sector your business is in.
Don’t shrink, pivot
Step one is to stop shrinking in fear. Then, when you’ve turned off the news and calmed down enough to think, here’s what you need to do: you need to adapt.
You need to look at ways that you can adapt, ways you can pivot and modify your business model and your service and product offering to be in line with what is actually going to work right now.
Obviously, if you’re selling a 12 month contract or a huge investment, this is probably not going to be the best time to be selling that solution. If you’re in the restaurant game, you’re not going to be able to operate business as usual.
So how do you adapt? If you’re a restaurant business that’s used to having 200 heads a night come into your restaurant, you need to let go of that vision. Instead, focus on what you do have. You have a kitchen, you have ingredients, and you have your staff.
You could sell lunch packs for takeaway, you could boost your online delivery capacity, you could start catering to all those people who are currently working from home and bored out of their minds from all the cooking they’ve been doing.
Beyond the business model
Things need to change, and those changes aren’t just confined to your business model. You’ll need to adapt your ads, your offers, your landing pages and all of the processes attached to that revenue creation, including how you approach people and how you follow up with them. Your email nurturing sequences need to change. The language and the messaging that you’re putting into your marketplace needs to change.
Dig deep into your website and see everything with a fresh pair of eyes. Does your contact form need updating? What about your About Us page? Do you need to create a new section in your FAQ page?
Take the time to ensure that everything your potential lead will see is aligned with the circumstances they’re currently facing. If just one sentence is slightly off, you’re risking turning that potential sale away immediately. Unless you’re going out into the marketplace with vigor, your business won’t survive.
Don’t cut the oxygen
During times of uncertainty, the typical response is to contract and go into survival mode. But when businesses do this, they’re running the risk of cutting out the things that might actually be benefiting them.
Instead of cutting out only the unnecessary extras such as their office space or their team lunches, they start amputating the things that are actually bringing oxygen into their business. They start demolishing the sales teams, the marketing teams: the things that actually serve to bring cold, hard cash into the company. This is never the right move.
The organism that is your business needs oxygen to survive, and that oxygen is new customers, new leads and new revenue streams. You need your sales and marketing teams to make that happen.
Your sole focus should be on putting grease on the wheels to keep your engine moving through these difficult times. That’s the only way to ensure that when your business does bounce back, it’ll do so stronger than ever.
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