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Out of uncertainty comes opportunity

Good companies emerge from recessions quicker and in better shape than when they went into them.

In the current situation we find ourselves in, it can be hard to know where the balance should lie when it comes to business. Not only do we have to continue our own business development activities and strategies, but we also need to work with our clients to help them to maximise their business in the short and medium term.

From a longer-term perspective, there is also a belief that when the recession ends it will quickly reverse and there will be many business opportunities: Spending has not gone away; most companies have just halted investments, rather than cancelled them.

Latest figures show that the majority of companies will reduce marketing and selling activities during ‘lockdown’. But is this really the right approach, particularly if we want to enhance our activities and continue to develop relationships with our customers in this difficult time so that when they are ready to start activity again, we are front of mind?

In some ways you could argue that there are more opportunities to sell in a downturn and we are already seeing the creative ways that businesses are adopting as they adapt.  Can we offer our customers new ways to make their operations more efficient and cost effective in the current environment? What platforms can we utilise to drive projects and activities forward now, so meaningful action can still happen? For example, how can we best adapt our virtual meetings and mobile research methodologies for best effect now?

Although times are challenging there is still an opportunity to continue to enhance your customer relationships.  The following are some of the more useful tips we have come across:

  • Don’t just call your customers when they have a requirement to buy, but recognise that your customers are just as scared and concerned for themselves and their team, their future employment and livelihoods, as we are.  Given the current ‘lockdown’ they may have more time to speak now than they did before and they need to know we are there to support them.  Now is a perfect time to work on improving the relationships with your customers.
  • Call your customers – ask them how they are and how their business is. Let them know that you are running a full ‘virtual’ support team and can provide support as needed.
  • Offer your customers information that will help them plan their emergence once investments resume. Case studies, business cases, proposals for new projects or re-scoped proposals to keep things on track, targeted well, will be gratefully received.
  • Check in on ongoing projects. Are they still what’s needed? Do you need to provide a different level of support now? Are things still running on time? People always remember those who were there in their time of need and those who were able to provide workable solutions.
  • Don’t forget senior contacts who may be working above your projects themselves. Has the ‘lockdown’ changed their views on the deployment of new technologies or workflows. How are their businesses fairing and is there anything we can do to support them?
    • Make it easy and set out a plan to reach out to an achievable number of key customers each day (e.g.4).
    • Where virtual meetings won’t work, start to schedule your customer visits for when travel restrictions may be over. Keep a running schedule of planned trips so that when we reach day one you have a plan already to go.
    • In your approach remember that the value you value to your customers business and be proud of the contributions you make.
    • Remember not to over-think this. If you have a legitimate reason to reach out to your customers there should be no worst outcome.

Finally remember that the vast majority of your competitors will be unable to consider what the world will look like in more than four weeks’ time. Be confident and be different; start planning what your business responsibilities will look like in three to six months-time. Good companies emerge from recessions quicker and in better shape than when they went into them. Use some of the advice above, as we have and lift your gaze from the here and now to the time ahead so that you can start planning your own bounce back!

Good luck and stay safe.

David Youds
CEO, Bedrock Group

https://bedrock-health.com/
https://origins-insights.com/

8th April 2020

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Company Details

Bedrock Group

01252 240200

Contact Website

Address:
One Fleet
Ancells Road
Fleet
Hampshire
GU51 2UN

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