The number one question we are getting these days from women business owners is: “how do I sell right now?”
There are so many underlying questions behind this seemingly simple question:
- What do I sell?
- Should I drop my prices?
- Is it the wrong time to sell?
Among many other questions that now feel so pressing.
Kimby and I decided to tackle this topic with our private coaching clients recently and we broke the question into 2 parts.
- Part 1 – business development and sales.
- Part 2 – marketing.
Let’s talk about business development and selling right now. And by selling, I mean, how should you sell to a) existing customers, b) customers who are about to renew, c) customers you were about to close, and/or 4) customers who may be having difficulties of their own.
BASED ON WHAT I HAVE SEEN IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS, WHEN ADDRESSING ANY OF THESE FOUR SCENARIOS, YOU HAVE TWO OPTIONS RIGHT NOW.
[And both of these options assume that since March 16th you are or have been picking up the phone (please call, drop the email for these conversations,) and checking in and touching base with your customers.]
Option One – Innovate.
Last week we talked about pivoting. Pivoting 101 was simply moving as many services to online offers. Making sure your customers knew that you could still serve them remotely. But now we’re moving on to the next step – which is harder and requires innovation.
What customers want right now, if you’re calling them back after having checked in on them, is to feel like you understand them, have thought about them, and have solutions that could help them.
Do not call them simply to sell them the same old / same old, especially if they don’t need it right now. That’s just a waste of everyone’s time.
Instead, call them with an idea. A solution that you thought of that could help their business or them specifically. Innovate.
And if you happen to be in an industry that simply cannot innovate right now (there are a few, for example, if you run an airline …) move on to option two.
Option Two – Get Creative
In some cases, your clients may have been very hard hit by COVID-19. Perhaps they have furloughed employees, or are in the process of doing so, or maybe they have had to shut the doors.
For the companies you work with that are still open, but struggling, consider how to renegotiate your services with them.
Especially if you know that a contract is ending, or if you believe what you’ve been offering them is mission critical, reach out, talk to them, and offer to renegotiate your rates and offers. I’m not talking about doing work for free, I’m talking about getting creative in the short term to hold on to clients and to help those clients get through these next few months.
In part two of this series, Kimby will answer the question “but how and when do I start to market my business again?”
[Spoiler alert, under the right circumstances, her answer will be ‘right now’!]