We’re going to rip the Band-Aid right off: STOP PUSHING THE SALE. Yes, we know that it sounds crazy during financial uncertainty, but when the world is changing you need to adapt. To help, this third installment of Strategies for Success Amid COVID-19 is centered on how to create value for clients rather than just concentrating on how to get their money.
Inspired by The “Scary Times" Manual by Dan Sullivan and Strategic Coach, Alexander’s is sharing this series of 10 blog posts focused on 10 strategies to help support growth and positive thinking during uncertain times.
“Most people don’t like being sold at the best of times. When the future is less certain, they turn off, hang up and slam shut. But what people want at all times is value creation - that is, solutions that help them eliminate their dangers, capture their opportunities and reinforce their strengths. When you focus on providing these solutions, the sales will naturally follow.”- Dan Sullivan, Strategic Coach
How To Create Value For Clients
COVID-19 should be seen as a time that your company is investing in its future. This message has been clear from the start of this series and will continue to be communicated through the end. It’s tempting to be so aggressive with sales to try and stay afloat that we put people off. This doesn’t mean you should raise the while flag, but it’s time to shift your game plan.
It's not the time to give your regular sales spiel. Most people are stressed to the point that they don’t have the patience to deal with the traditional sales pitch. Instead, they are more prone to entertain genuine conversations and compassion. This shouldn't be new since you’ve developed your own personal touch with your clientele as you built it up. You’re just transitioning to making it a primary focus of your business operations.
Checking in with your client base individually is obviously the best way to accomplish this. Personal phone calls, emails and/or messages to see how they’re doing and offer up your support will do wonders. Obviously, some groups of consumers are so large that you have to rely on mass communication. You can still be very successful in showing your support and being compassionate through larger channels. All it takes is the right messaging.
This pandemic is a great opportunity to share the “why” of your company and build a positive brand image. As people come to understand the true mission of your company, the imagery of the money-crazed businessperson will begin to fade. Lending a helping hand and being supportive during times of trial is also the recipe for developing loyalty. Both of these things will lead to years and years of business down the road.
Rewards and Discounts
Cutting the cost through discounts or freebies is one of the most common ways businesses provide extra value to their client base. These methods work because your clients clearly see the financial advantage. As mentioned in our last blog, lending a helping hand by saving your clients money needs to be seen as an investment into the future of your business. Your bottom line may take a hit in the process, but you’re building loyalty and helping these clients stick around to continue to do business with you.
You may decide to use one of the following approaches: discounted rates, rewards program, giveaways or anything else that may incentivize a sale. Think about what your company can reasonably offer, along with what would be meaningful to your client base. If you have the ability, you may take the time and individualize the cost-cutting plan with individual clients depending on their circumstances. No matter what, you should get an idea of what truly would be helpful from the clients themselves.
Adapt messaging to speak to consumer’s immediate needs
Great companies and businesspeople know that their messaging constantly needs to be changing to fit the ever-changing environment. While communication has changed since the start of COVID-19, it doesn’t mean you’re set for the entirety of the pandemic. The landscape continues to shift which means your clients’ needs and potential problems do too.
In the previous blog post, we tackled developing client relationships during the pandemic. In the post, we suggested making a detailed list of the issues your client base is facing at the moment. This list should continue to be updated and utilized as you determine messaging going forward.
Offering solutions to your clients’ problems is the greatest way you can provide value that will translate into sales. Your job is to ensure that your messaging is crafted to communicate your services/products fill a need. You’ll have to be creative and understand there likely isn’t an overall message that works for your entire client base.
There are various forms of educational content that you can produce that will be a major benefit to both you and your client base. Think about the product or service that your company specializes in. What are the benefits? What questions do you get? Are there some tips and tricks for consumers? The answers to these questions should be what your educational content should be based around.
You should consider offering online courses or workshops that are relevant to your business. Look for ways to create content through social media, blogs, webinars, podcasts, and/or Q&A sessions. Sharing educational content is a win-win as it provides more information to help create sales and is a resource for your existing client base to tap into.
In the end, you know your company better than anyone else. Use the ideas above as a springboard as you and your business brainstorm how to create value for clients going forward.
We hope that you use this series as a resource to continue to progress during times of uncertainty. Follow Alexander’s on LinkedIn and Instagram as we feature seven more strategies to transform negative situations into growth during COVID-19.
Strategies For Success Amid COVID-19:
1. Forget about yourself, focus on others
2. Developing client and work relationships
3. How to create value for clients
4. Focus on your opportunities
5. Why you should focus on your progress, not your challenges
6. Forget about the future, focus on today
7. Six ways to focus on your future self
8. How to respond to unexpected events
9. Focus on your available resources
10. How to be more grateful