COVID-19 has massively disrupted just about every aspect of our lives – both at home and in our businesses.
“67% of CFOs have taken cost-containment steps as a result of COVID-19 and that number is likely to grow.”
Sales are down and many businesses are suffering. The hard sales pitch just isn’t effective right now – and honestly, it never was. The most effective way to set yourself up for the other side of this crisis is to build relationships with your prospects and clients. And the best way to do that is through good marketing.
But how we approach that marketing has changed a bit. Your clients and prospects are now spending vastly more time on social media and in their email. With engagement on LinkedIn up 55% since the start of this crisis, your presence there is more important than ever. People are looking to engage, but instead of a hard sales pitch, focus on your marketing efforts and building your audience.
Don’t Pitch – Focus on the Relationship
While people are online and more engaged than ever before, it’s less likely that these conversations will convert into sales. The best thing you can do right now is to help your audience by providing them with valuable insights.
LinkedIn is the perfect place to do that. Right now, people are more engaged than ever. We’re all home. We’re all online. We’re all looking to connect. We’re getting more attention from everyone, with greater levels of engagement on posts, higher open rates and click-through rates on emails, and more website traffic.
But pitching on LinkedIn doesn’t work until you develop the relationship. That’s even more true during this crisis. Become a thought-leader and provide actionable information and resources to help your audience navigate this time. That effort now will translate into sales on the other side of this crisis.
Offer Insights That Match the Current Situation
I’m a huge proponent of the reframing article as part of our connection campaigns. But we’re in an unprecedented situation right now and your regular reframing article and content calendar can be less useful during this time – or even worse, come off as tone-deaf. 66% of businesses say they have changed their messaging and insights to align with what we’re all dealing with within the current environment.
Marketing in a time of crisis makes it even more important to offer actionable insight-driven information to your audience – that they can use right now. It is the key component of successful marketing. Take the time to reevaluate and change your messaging to bring it more in line with where your audience is and what they’re dealing with. The truth is that you already know what the problems are that your prospects and clients are facing. And COVID-19 has created a sense of urgency on all fronts. If you have something to say that is relevant to your prospects and clients where they are right now and can help provide a solution or idea that can help them, this is the time to put it out there. It’s so much more effective to share your expertise and help people than it is to simply ask for a sale.
Let me give you an example:
One of our clients offers Fractional C-Suite services, specializing in sales. His original messaging was a sales pitch that asked his connections to set up a call. We changed his message to an email that shared his expertise: “I’ve been through this sort of economic crisis before and here are some tips for generating sales during a time like this.” The email was read by a potential customer right as their C-suite was actively having a conversation about what to do about revenue in the future. They contacted our client to say they really appreciated the information, and asked if he could jump on a phone call with them. That call turned into a client for him and potentially a client for us as well.
Take the Long Term View
Now is the time to take the long term view and focus on activities that will set your business up on the other side of this crisis. Businesses who put their efforts into marketing now, with the expectation that it won’t pay off immediately, will see results once we come out of this. It won’t be an immediate thing, but in every recession, the businesses that put more resources into marketing come out stronger on the other side.
All the best,