How to do sales and marketing during a lockdown
Ben Paul shares six simple steps that you can take during lockdown to stay relevant and top of mind with your target audience. When the latest lockdown was announced I don’t think many of us thought we would still be operating within restrictions through October and beyond. In Auckland, Level 3 restrictions have meant that doing […]
Ben Paul shares six simple steps that you can take during lockdown to stay relevant and top of mind with your target audience.
When the latest lockdown was announced I don’t think many of us thought we would still be operating within restrictions through October and beyond. In Auckland, Level 3 restrictions have meant that doing business itself is very difficult as people juggle work and home life, which happen in the same physical location. And yet for businesses to survive and thrive they need to continue to carry out sales and marketing initiatives, alongside their day to day business.
While digital marketing and advertising works well for click and collect B2C businesses, and those able to trade with the public, as we all need goods and in fact distractions from the daily monotony, it is a bit trickier for B2B businesses.
The trouble is many of your prospective clients are not keen to speak with you due to the pressures of working from home, meaning that they are only focusing on the here and now. The other factor is that the uncertainty around when lockdown measures will end means clients are not launching new initiatives, and may be looking to not take on any additional spend until the situation clears up.
While this is the reality, it doesn’t mean that sales and marketing should be viewed as a negative activity or a waste of time. In fact, quite the opposite, those who do it well and invest cleverly in it now will reap the benefits of doing so, once the market picks up.
Below are six simple things that you can do during lockdown to stay relevant and top of mind with your target audience.
1.Review your digital profiles
Review your current website content and make sure that everything is up to date. Pay particular attention to your own bio. It also pays to review and update your LinkedIn bio. Make sure you have consistency across both formats. For example, if you say you’re an expert in the Legal sector on your company website but claim to be an expert in the Construction sector on your LinkedIn profile, it’s not a good look. If you need help updating your LinkedIn bio you’ll find that here. And there is more good reading here.
2. Set clear boundaries on the time you spend on social media
There’s lots of benefits to networking online during lockdown, but all social media can be very addictive. If you haven’t seen the excellent movie “the social dilemma” then now is a great time to watch it. With this in mind, and with your own working environment being more taxing than ever, set boundaries so that you can reap the benefits of social selling whilst still delivering on your all-important client and home commitments.
3. Content is king
Most people in the B2B arena understand how important content marketing is. However, it takes time to write and produce great content. Therefore, if you are less busy, now is a great time to start committing to and producing content. You can write material to be published now, and also some content which you can release over the next six months. It is far better to release one article a month on a consistent basis than four articles next month and then none for a long period of time.
4. Listen, empathise don’t solve
Do call, email, and speak to your clients and others in your network. Always check that it is a good time for them to talk before getting into a conversation. Then, give them the time and space to share their problems, be they work or even personal. Right now, people are looking for someone to share their problems with, they want to air and share them. What they don’t want is someone instantly trying to solve them. In lockdowns people have less conversations so if your client opens up, listen and empathise.
5. Don’t try to sell – however grim your current revenue situation
If you are in a situation where your revenue is not looking as healthy as you would wish, I would urge you more than ever to avoid the temptation to try and force a deal. Your clients will have other more important issues. Any attempt to ‘close’ a deal before it’s ready will either result in a price reduction at best, but most likely in you losing the deal altogether.
6. Do something every day
Sometimes in lockdown you’ll have bad days, days when you may just not want to engage with the outside world. I’m no wellbeing or mindfulness coach, but that’s perfectly understandable and ok. The odd day is okay – but for your sanity and the health of your revenue pipeline it can’t become a habit.
In any economic market, those who are most successful in nurturing clients and winning work tend to be those who are most active. Therefore, make sure you do engage in conversations on the phone via email or on social media. Staying active and doing, say, one small activity every day, will produce great results for you moving forward.
Taking it forward, step by step
That final message is really the key point here. Make sure that you set time aside to do some sales or marketing activity every day. Aim to stay relevant to your target markets and clients, and top of mind for them. This will help you feel a sense of achievement as well as helping you to grow your opportunity pipeline.
Ben Paul (pictured below) is the director and founder of The BD Ladder, a business development and marketing consultancy focused on providing B2B service providers and professional services firms with practical step by step advice that delivers results. He can be contacted at [email protected]