This article was originally published on the BenchmarkONE blog.
Sales numbers and KPIs are on the minds of a lot of businesses right now. With everything going on, there’s a real concern over how revenue will be affected, and with that comes concerns for the overall livelihood and longevity of businesses.
We are all feeling the negative effects of this outbreak, and are faced with the realization that our companies will probably suffer, some more than others. But that’s no reason to neglect your sales and marketing efforts. In fact, there’s no better time to ramp up your efforts and continue to push to achieve your goals.
The simple reality is that selling seems silly right now. Also, your traditional approaches are probably not getting the results they used to. It’s time for a new approach. By focusing on helping instead of selling, you’ll find that you’ll not only put your customers first but see benefits for your own company as well.
Let Selling Take a Backseat
This approach may seem hard, especially since sales are no doubt on your mind right now. But we’re all in this together. We all have to look out for one another, and the best way to do that is to find ways to offer up suggestions, tips, and contributions. Below are some methods you can adopt that are aimed at helping over selling.
Invest In a Content Marketing Strategy
One of the most cost-effective ways to both market your company while you also help others is to invest in a content marketing strategy. If you haven’t already, you can create a team in-house, or simply add this strategy on to the other efforts your marketing team is implementing. But really, content should drive your small business marketing strategy.
Content, by nature, is meant to educate, not sell. It’s not intended to be promotional. Instead, it shares helpful tips, strategies, processes, tools, etc. for people to access and learn from. Create blog posts, personalized email campaigns, social media content, and whitepapers that help your audiences be better at their jobs, and better navigate through these tough times.
Adjust Packages or Service Offerings
Consider what your clients and potential clients need right now. Maybe they need additional help with the language and approach of their email marketing. Or, perhaps they had to close their doors temporarily, so they need to find a way to focus on e-commerce strategies. Don’t lock your clients into a plan simply because it’s at a higher price point, and therefore it’s more beneficial for you. Adjust where needed and consider swapping in other services for ones they no longer currently need.
Don’t Be Afraid to Upsell
I know, the word “upsell” doesn’t exactly fit with the mentality of “help over sell,” but hear me out. If additional services are going to benefit your clients’ new strategy, do not be afraid to tell them about it. Again, as long as your core mission is to help them achieve their goals, then you aren’t prioritizing your company’s pocketbook. Plus, this is just another way to offer more value to your customers.
With this unfamiliar climate comes new methods and strategies to prosper. This can include any additional benefits they could receive by buying another product in addition to what they already have or already plan to purchase.
Webinars are a great way to stay top of mind, provide real-time support and tips, and educate your audience on things that matter to them. Instead of focusing on webinars that are more closely related to your product, create topics around how to thrive during a crisis, or the basics around keeping your business alive with different approaches and methods. Anything at all that you think your audience could use right now is fair game. If you need additional help on what that may be, talk to your sales team, account team, and your customer service team. They’re at the frontlines of what your audience is currently going through, and they can be a great resource for inspiration.
Honesty is something businesses should always practice, but in times like these, it’s even more important. Be transparent about your offerings and products, what you think your prospects need, and how you think they can meet their goals. Having that kind of mindset will make them leave every sales conversation or touchpoint with a better understanding of your company, which is a win-win for both of you. It’s the best way to build trust and assure them that you’ve got their backs.
Know Their Needs Before They Do
Part of your job is to anticipate your customer’s needs. If you have a good understanding of what their issues and pain points are, as well as everything your product and expertise can provide, then you will know what will help them the most. Be genuine and suggest other things that will make their life easier in the future.
You should never ghost a customer or prospect, especially when they’re distressed. This is a very scary time for them, so make sure you are available, even if it’s to listen to their concerns. You may not have a definitive answer for them, but listening to them voice their fears, successes, and uncertainties will help you better understand them and service them in the future.
Sure, it’s a scary time. But don’t let that make you forget your humanity. Everything isn’t always about business. When we put a helpful mentality first, we all see the leaders that are looking out for all of us. Be one of the leaders and look out for your customers and prospects, too.
Are you ready for a smarter way to engage with your customers?
Benchmark helps you do email marketing the practical way. Create an ongoing relationship with your subscribers that leads to increased sales and happier customers.