Protect Your B2B Services Business; Stop Selling, Do This Instead...
No one's buying mindset is open right now. I don't mean to sound negative, I'm just being realistic and pragmatic.
If you sell services to other businesses, in fact, if you're not a supermarket, pharmacy or medical supplier then right now, your sales will be in decline. If they haven't stalled completely, that is.
Let's be honest; it's pretty awful right now, but there are some things to do, and to not do, at this pivotal moment in your brand's life cycle.
...create even more value and add it to the service you are already providing for existing customers. Consider what assets you have already that you can get out to them quickly and easily at no cost to them (or you, ideally) and that can demonstrate you value them as a customer.
... be extremely careful with your messaging to existing customers and ensure that it is...
Empathetic & Acknowledging – e.g. we know everyone is going through a tough time right now / we're thinking about you / we're here to support you etc.
Operational – e.g. here’s how we’re affected, what we’re doing about it and what it means for you, plus how they can find out more information if needed and the place to go for that - i.e. website link, email, phone etc.
Value-driven – here’s how we’re giving you even more value than usual (use this tactic to retain existing customers as far as possible).
Supportive – we’re here if we can help in any way, how you might be able to help, contact details for them to take up your help.
... execute things quickly, not perfectly.
... read this further article - Your COVID-19 Marketing Survival Plan for more in-depth support around messaging.
... and this one about futureproofing your business.
.... look for ways to tell your customers how important your products are for them right now. Leave people to decide for themselves what's important to them because for this moment in time, priorities have shifted beyond anything we've ever experienced before. What ws important to each of us even yestereday, may not be important ot us today. It's not for you to tell others their priorities.
... use 'great/perfect for self-isolation/COVID-19 protection' in any of your marketing. Please, just don't do it. You will absolutely damage your brand.
... create a 'COVID-19 survival package' and try to sell it. 'Survival' for most people at the moment is about managing and reducing their existing expenses, not adding new ones.
... automatically discount everything. Instead of cutting prices out of fear that no one will buy, or continue to pay their bill, give even more value. If you feel you must, you can cut prices a little bit, but don't go crazy. If you do cut prices, make it very clear that the price is being discounted because of the COVID-19 situation, and that normal prices will resume after this is over. You must make measured decisions about pricing. Never de-value the time you give to a client. If you can keep a client by negotiating on rates, then do that, but don't assume that they can't pay, or need the reduction. You can open the door to suggest that anyone who is financially affected can reach out to you confidentially to discuss their situation.
... forget that this will pass. You do not need to 'knee-jerk' sell. You only need to be there for your existing customers, connect and engage with your contacts, and focus your energy on preparing services that will meet the needs of a post-COVID-19 world.
Stay safe everyone!
Stevie V Brown coaches small business owners’ to increase their marketing know-how, build their confidence and create and implement a growth marketing strategy that attracts and nurtures more of their ideal clients and gets them paid what they're truly worth. Apply for a FREE Marketing Accelerator with Stevie and get crystal clear on the next 3 actions you can take to grow your business today.