Trying to push sales at a moment like this may not be the most strategic ideas. Besides, it may not even possible because clients do not have budgets or block their budgets. Finally, it could be seen as a sales aggressive act and bring a bad image for your company.
It means that it could be the right moment to invest in “the long game” in your reputation and in the trust that you can have with your prospects and clients. This can be done via marketing for example but then always try to put the human at the center of your concerns and be empathic to understand your client’s needs and fears professionally AND personally.
Digital meetings are the new key trend but prepare the after crisis
Everybody is using Zoom, Microsoft Team, Skype, Facebook Messenger… It’s the new norm now. Let’s take this impressive example and growth figures. Zoom was a niche business tool with 10 million daily users, many of them were people working in offices or at home. Today, it has emerged as a fundamental online utility, with 200 million daily users — including family members gathering to celebrate holidays, teachers leading online classes for students…
We discover the benefits of working from home, and the downside, however, do not forget that people will always miss the real world. So, try to talk about it with your clients and prospects. This can be easy messages like “I would be really happy to see you and invite you to the restaurant when the quarantine will be over” or “we’re happy to show you a demo online but of course, we could do another one face-to-face in the future”. For the project managers, it could be “I’m looking forward to being back to work and to the office to work on your projects”.
Finally, mental health is tested so be sure to take care and show interest in your clients’ and prospects’ well-being. There is one fact, this situation will change consumer behavior forever and this is why you should play the long game rather than the short and aggressive game.
What are the key facts then to prepare the after crisis? Digital – Empathy – Acting responsibly
Digital convenience is going to be the next strategy in this period and afterward. Indeed, if your clients or prospects like your solution/product they will rely on it. On the contrary, if your solution/product is not convenient, they won’t use it and you may lose market share in the future.
How could you increase your digital convenience?
- Personalize your offer
- Make it easy! Decrease the effort to use
- Be proactive
At Efficy for the 2 first point, it’s already in our DNA when we sell our solution to a customer, we always try to adapt our solution to the client’s needs and their particular business and industry. Moreover, our clients become part of our partners and ecosystem and if one of their requests or ideas can improve the use of all our clients, we adapt it to our generic solutions so the other clients can benefit from it.
For this last point, let’s take 2 minutes to go deeper into it. Create awareness about your brand values. Here at Efficy it’s “Efficiency, We Care and Openness”. This is the reason why we developed our weekly Notebook and increased the number of Webinars (from 1/month to 1/week). And we’re not only Product-oriented anymore in our Webinar and we try to add fun facts, general pieces of training about how to digitize your communication campaigns, how to do paid campaigns on LinkedIn or we decide to invite external experts to discuss crisis management…
In this period, it’s not about getting attention to sell your goods it’s about adding values to your customers’ lives.
Be proactive, call your customers before they call you. Reassure them that you’re there to help. Here at Efficy our motto at the beginning of the crisis was “We stay by your side” and we communicated proactively and directly with an email to a customer describing how our business was going to work shortly that all the team from the support, the project team until the management was available to answer their needs.
Of course, do not forget to call and contact your team members proactively. I’ll only talk about myself in this paragraph. I’m really grateful that at Efficy almost every day there is one colleague who asks me if I’m fine and my family too. I have almost a daily call with my manager and sometimes we spend almost 50% of the meeting to discuss about our lives and which e-apero we’ll do the evening but what a good moment to breathe and relax. Finally, our CEO organizes every week a “Coffee break with the CEO” where we can ask him all the questions we want, no barriers. You feel then you’re not alone, you’re listened to and you can get involved in your company. It’s not a lot but it reinforces the strength and spirit of wholeness to get over it together in your company.
During the crisis, it’s a good moment to find ideas to act responsibly. For example, LVMH was the first global brand to use their capabilities to make hand sanitizer. We see that many alcohol companies transform their business model in the same way. And many 3D printers’ companies are building mask protections. Doing this kind of action will give values for your business, values for your customers and society.
It’s essential to go back to basics! Try to understand and to offer your customers what they need. This is how you’ll build your reputation and increase the trust in your company and eventually increase your growth in future revenue.
Play the long game: Build trust and reputation!