It was announced yesterday by the UK Government that there is no date set for when the lockdown will be lifted, in fact one Government spokesperson said we are likely to be like this for another six months.
Unfortunately, events and conferences are being postponed, cancelled and moved to “digital”. The months of March, April, May and June and September, October and November are pivotal times for sales and marketing to create pipeline. This March, April, May and June 2020, will mean there is little or no demand generation / lead generation for companies to start their year. It sounds like the whole of this year could be a wipe out for conferences. Even if it isn't as business leaders we need to plan for the worse.
Cold calling? Nobody is going to take cold calls when they are working from homes and the offices are empty. People are concerned for their jobs, the last thing they want is a cold call.
Email? I’ve just received an email from a company I have no idea who they are telling me they are thinking of me.
Advertising? I’m not sure images of an amazing world is something I will connect with right now. This article https://flip.it/8istST describes the collapse of advertising, reading my Sunday Times newspaper today, you can see that the the paper is thinner as the adverts fall off and the advert opportunity falls off.
And let’s be honest we didn’t care about your products and services before Covid19, we certainly don’t care now.
This leaves a gap in pipeline generation, so how do we fill that gap?
Humans are clever people, we will find ways around this and find a "new normal".
How about using social selling?
I'm not talking about spamming people with sales pitches over connection requests, that isn't social selling it's spamming. Think of it as cold calling over a social network.
Social selling is where you build relationships up with people, (remotely) over social media. This will enable you to prospect, nurture, take your prospects on a journey through the sales funnel and close them.
That does require you to do a little bit of work, but that's fine as you have the time.
You need a buyer centric Linkedin profile, this is a profile that is attractive to your buyers. Not about you (your what) and what you sell, but your why and how you can help your buyers.
Think about when you first go for meetings with people, you don't walk in to the meeting and explain your product. You set how your experience, your beliefs, your skills. Take a look at my Linkedin profile here https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothyhughessocialselling/
My summary title creates curiosity, my summary tells a story, my career history isn't a CV, it tells my career story.
Once you have that you should start connecting with people. Your network is currently x colleagues and recruitment consultants and you need to move your territory on-line.
Third you need content. Show people your are a interesting and helpful person. Tell people things they don't know. Provide them with insight and educate them. Start by using a product like Flipboard which is free, where you can find and curate content. Then you should start writing your own content.
Just like this article.
Being as you have the time right now to do all of this, it will also enable you to get through the current times. Better still, it will enable you to get ready for the "new normal".
If you need any help with this and help planning for the new normal then contact me.
Supermarket shelves are stripped bare. Flights are grounded. Workers have been laid off; furloughed; transformed into primary school teachers. A Conservative government has nationalised the railways and is paying people not to work. And this is still only week two. In less than a fortnight, Britain has experienced the kind of social and political upheaval that normally only comes when you guillotine some royals, or storm a winter palace. But is this a brief moment of national solidarity, or a 'new normal'?