I am by no means a crisis communication expert.
This is a global crisis, and we are all doing our best to pay the bills. This is not the new norm, but it will look something like this for a while. So how do you continue to drive sales during the current mood? We can’t all be Zoom and Slack (they definitely don’t have a sales problem these days). The reality is that customers are only buying things that they believe can specifically help them during this crisis.
The other reality is that you may not have a product that can help them during this crisis. My thought: stop selling. Start being a helpful human being. I sent out an email campaign, subject: “It is the craziest of times, and I want to help.” Let your customers and prospects know that you are here to serve. There will probably not be a sales opportunity, but there will be a relationship opportunity. Not having a product right now doesn’t mean you don’t need another relationship. If there is business to be done, it will become self-evident. Check out my blog from 2017, H2H: How the “Human to Human” Marketing Approach Reveals Who We Are in Business and in Life.
You will make mistakes, you will get rejected, and some will think you’re trying to scam them. Everyone is scared and concerned. Stay authentic, stay genuine, and keep moving. There is no better time to be a human.
As you start talking and building relationships, document the conversations. Think about what people are telling you, and be a good listener. Every conversation is meaningful and important.
At the end of the day, take an hour for some critical thinking and make plenty of notes.
How does this inform your company strategy when things get better? Reformulate your company strategy. This is not a time to “stay the course.” Talk to your team about what you’re hearing. Shift your thinking from survive to thrive.
Here are some “easier said than done” tips.
- Re-forecast cash flow projections at the end of the day, freak out, and move on.
- Limit watching the news and the stock market to a maximum of 5 minutes per hour (I am trying the 55th minute of the hour). Stay informed but just don’t let it consume you.
- Try building some new habits. My hydration levels are way up these days.
- Review your entire business model daily. Think about how you can focus. Think about going deep and not wide.
- Take time for family and friends on a daily basis. Social distancing doesn’t mean living in exile.
I created a Calendly link so that you can book 15 min calls with me. Advice on your #startup, general business questions, funding, etc… book here if you’d like to chat.