There’s a range of approaches to business development these days. Have you seen it too? On the one hand are the companies who have disappeared. Not a word to their customers and clients. On the other hand are the companies who are using every tone deaf and insensitive trick in the book.
Our double down and 3 other tips will help you fall in the “just right” category of business development when so much is uncertain on both buyer and seller sides.
Focus on Customers and Clients
It’s important for business owners to remember that they have years worth of customers and clients—people who have actually paid them money for their offerings—and if they keep in touch with them, over time many of them will become buyers (pay them) again. This is especially true now.
Tone or Mood
We emphatically discourage the “house on fire” tone. Your company is not helping if you throw pandemic anxiety in people’s faces.
We encourage a warm and friendly tone. Communicate caring and a desire to serve in the language you use, the images you choose and the offers you make.
What is the tone in your marketing?
If you don’t market at all you’re making a huge mistake. The companies who disappear when the going gets tough will be at an extreme disadvantage when economic conditions improve and buying decisions resume.
We strongly recommend doubling down on your marketing to your current clients and customers. Our GO CURVE Evergreen System shows you how. You have three advantages with these people: they know, like and trust you.
How to Double Down
Refresh your market research: What is going on today with your customers and clients? The more accurately you pinpoint their needs today and for the next three months, the better your marketing will be received. Customers and clients want to know you understand them today. Things have changed for everyone; tell them you know what has changed for them.
Appreciate your customers and clients: There are many ways to say thank you for your relationship with your customers and clients. Use them all. Avoid sales offers. Thanks should be only thanks.
Stay top of mind: We define Top of Mind (TOM) as giving value or something of interest to your customers and clients without any selling language. Be creative and imaginative. Among our recommendations are tips for any widely enjoyed pastimes, such as gardening, sports, travel, restaurants, family fun. Reading lists assembled by well-known people are appreciated as are seasonal tips. Share interesting content from an industry conference that you attended. We recommend TOM marketing throughout the year. You can start today if you aren’t already in the habit.
3 Other Tips
1) Serve don’t sell: Language counts! Use what you learned in your market research to inform your language and visuals.
There’s a big difference between offering to serve and selling. Serving language includes the words “help, solve problems, support, meeting your needs, your outcomes and high value.” Selling language includes “buy now, unique opportunity, only a few left, get yours while supplies last, time is running out.”
When customers and clients are stressed and anxious, they reject anything that increases their stress, such as hard-sell language and visuals. They gravitate to options that help them feel in control.
2) Tell stories: People are influenced by the behavior of other people. Telling true stories about the experiences of your customers and clients helps others decide what to do. These stories need three elements: the hero, the crisis or conflict, and the mentor or supporter. Your clients are the heroes and you (a real person in your company) are the supporter.
Stories are creative descriptions of events, not journalistic reports. Tell the truth in well-written prose, not too long, and with evocative language.
3) Provide relevant options: In what 2-3 ways does each current offering meet the needs of your customers and clients? Any products or services that don’t meet current needs should be put on a shelf for the coming three months. This allows you to focus heavily on the few that do meet current needs.
Use your market research to create new options. Our Innovation on Demand download will help. You will have to pivot to new ways of delivering value. The key to success is to not guess! Ask your customers and clients and give them what they ask for.
Realism is key
Above all, be realistic about what your clients and customers are experiencing and how your offerings work for them today. Prior to the pandemic, there was a lot more discretionary spending and willingness to try something new. Not any longer, and we don’t see freewheeling spending returning any time soon.
Your company will need to offer value to every buyer in the exact way the customer or client wants it. Double down on your connections with your customers and clients, pivot to offers that meet their current needs and communicate, communicate, communicate with a tone of caring and compassion.
We’ve been working with private businesses on doubling down and these 3 other tips. Whether you’re looking for hints or extensive help, give us a call. We practice what we preach! Let’s talk about your needs and wants and how we can serve you. 703-801-0345.