The household name over the last few weeks has certainly been coronavirus or COVID-19. By now, we’ve already been feeling the impacts of what this disease is doing to life as we once knew it but it’s already significantly effecting local small business. Some of have been able to adapt to new methods but others have not. As we write this, we are already aware of 2 businesses that have had to close their doors because of COVID-19.
But what do we need to do? Businesses need to recognize that how we are going to do business for the foreseeable future is going to be significantly different. How they adapt will determine how they can weather the storm. Any strategies or messaging that were working well prior may not be working as well or even at all because we are simply facing new issues in our day to day life.
From a growth standpoint, businesses prior to the pandemic were focused on meeting targets for leads, sales and even certain revenue or margins. Some are now focused on hitting a certain number in order to pay the rent or employees.
As we navigate this crisis, there are a few things we can focus on in order to help us weather the storm a little easier.
What are your customer’s new needs or challenges?
We’ve already played witness to how needs change and how people now buy. We need to realize that people aren’t thinking about buying but about what they need to survive and make ends meet, how to care for themselves or loved ones.
Did you notice something? There haven’t been as many cold calls to sell you things. We need to be cautious about how bad this pandemic is for some people. We need to have empathy and compassion for people if we need to sell to them and aware of their concerns.
We need to treat our business as a way to frame our products or services that is supportive and helpful to our customers.
Add value, not a quick sale
If you’re selling during a pandemic it’s out of necessity – whether you are an existing business or one that is just starting – we all need to in order to survive. BUT, there is one thing we need to remember and that is before we start asking for the payment for that invoice or even the transaction, sell what your value is upfront. Not only does this put your potential customer at ease but builds a long term relationship. This is should be your marketing strategy regardless of whether there is a pandemic occurring or not. Don’t be that greedy company. People will remember this when COVID is over.
Some questions for you to consider:
- What is something my business can offer to help people get through this time?
- How can my business add value while everyone is at home or not at their business?
- Can I alter my product or service offering in order to help the community?
Adapt and Differentiate
Reality is, COVID-19 is probably not just going to change how we do business during the pandemic but even after. Now is the time to think of how we are going to change our processes in order to make customers more at ease when they are allow to walk back through our stores.
It’s no secret that many businesses marketed themselves on models such as better pricing, promotions, product types, availability, or warranty just to name a few. It’s entirely possible, these may not play as big an impact on someone’s buying decision. It may shift to, how services can be performed without stepping inside someone’s home for HVAC installers or removing a few tables in a restaurants in order to provide a more ‘social distant’ dinner out.
Potential customer’s may have been price sensitive prior to the pandemic but they may pay a little more for a company that is focused on the health implications, especially those businesses that may have to be in or near their home. Make sure you are looking to what your competitors are doing in order to based your marketing strategies during this time accordingly.