26 May 5 Ways to Bring Value Without Outright Selling during COVID-19
It can be difficult to navigate when and why to connect with clients during COVID-19. The reality is that many people are really struggling and others are coping well, while a small few are actually excelling!
The tricky part is knowing who is at which stage in the process and when it’s appropriate to be in touch. We’ve heard “experts” tell us that under no circumstances sell. Other “experts” have told us that it’s imperative, we owe it to our organizations and families to put our heads down and sell regardless. It can be confusing and, while we think there’s a happy medium, we hope that these touch points will communicate value over feeling “salesy”.
1 - Provide relevant content
Now is the time to read up on industry magazines; skill up, as the experts say, and learn more about your client’s industries so you can serve them at a higher level. If you find an interesting or relevant article or podcast, reach out with a personalized email and send away. Content is king right now as people are more open to it with more time on their hands to learn. They’ll appreciate you thinking of them and the value in the message!
2 - Offer resources for free that you would otherwise charge for
We’re doing this right now with our Team Engagement PDFs. We’re researching inspirational speakers and videos and creating the questions for your team to ponder and discuss during Zoom meetings to drive engagement. We’re also preparing content-rich webinars with tips to boost engagement as well as facilitation questions and ideas around adjusting to the first day or week back.
Now is the time to give without expecting anything in return! Have those top 10 tips for something related to your area of expertise?
Jot them down and share them in blog format or webinar.
3 - Rally together to support small business
Social media is the easiest way for you to promote small businesses by tagging retail stores and businesses in your daily feed. It costs you nothing and means a great deal to your fellow entrepreneurs.
Check out our efforts to support small businesses! We recently gave out lapel pins that can be sold to raise money for local retailers to pay their rent!
What can you do to support a small business in your community? If you’ve seen other creative efforts, we’d love to hear about it!
4 - Be a listening ear
Some clients you speak with are just going to need for you to lend an ear. Many are REALLY struggling. Give them your undivided attention.
Ask better questions, like this list that Lisa on our team developed;
- What has been one of the biggest challenges you and your team are adapting to?
- Has your focus shifted at all, and if so, towards what?
- What are your top priorities moving forward?
- What do you need most right now?
Seek nothing in return, simply be a sounding board!
5 - Help form strategic alliances between clients
Start connecting like-minded business owners who have the potential for form a strategic alliance. For example, in our business a printer is a great strategic alliance. We serve many of the same types of clients but we don’t compete. Which business owners do you know who compliments your best client’s business? Go ahead and do an introduction and see how they can support each other.
You can definitely sell during COVID-19 without being labelled "salesy"!
Whatever you decide to do to bring value to your clients, if it comes from a genuine place of seeking to serve and help others, we’re confident that you’ll plant the seeds for stronger relationships in the future!
Author of this post:
The Sigma Resource Library
With free resources to boost employee engagement, marketing strategy and personal development.