Like almost everyone I know, I’m trying to figure out what emerging from the pandemic is going to look like and what it will mean for my business.
To be clear, I don’t think this thought process is negative. But it is necessary.
Well, if you are like me, every time I feel like I’m getting a grasp on things, there is a new set of circumstances that seems to change the dynamic for businesses.
Which makes reemerging and helping folks find a way forward more challenging, but more important.
As I was sitting down with my coffee this morning, I started to think about what we can do no matter what right now to keep ourselves moving in the right direction and to keep our business focused on being relevant now and into the future.
Here are 3 things we can do no matter what we are currently dealing with to help propel us forward.
These are what I’m going to call “Our Basics”:
1. We can talk to our customers, partners, and prospects:
People may or may not be in a position to buy right this moment, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to be having conversations.
For a few weeks, there was a lot of stuff going on around my neighborhood and house and I didn’t prioritize talking with folks as much as I would in normal times.
When I started making it a priority to talk with folks regularly again in July, things improved mentally and business-wise immediately.
I’ve got the chance to chat with folks I might not have been able to talk with before. I’ve connected with folks that are often busy so our talks aren’t super deep. And, I’ve been able to just brainstorm how to overcome things with folks that I respect.
People want and need to talk right now and reaching out to your prospects, customers, and partners to be a sounding board can be important as a tool to keep your business basics moving in the right direction.
2. You can network:
I’ve hosted a podcast for just over two years on the business of tickets, sports, entertainment, and events called The Business of Fun.
I started it because I wanted to grow my network, learn from folks, and promote my business.
All three boxes have been checked.
Right now, many or most of us can’t safely go out for networking events as we typically describe them, but we can still network and make connections.
Don’t believe me, here are a few things I’ve done during the pandemic that most definitely count as networking:
- I started hosting new episodes of my podcast and this has led me to connect with at least a half dozen new potential partners in a month.
- I’ve hosted webinars on sales topics, marketing ideas, or strategy calls that have put me in touch with new people from around the world.
- I’ve also written a few articles and done a few speaking gigs that have opened the door to at least another 8-10 new prospective partners and high-value contacts over the last 6 weeks.
That’s just what I’ve done.
And, looking at the number and quality of the contacts, these efforts are better than a typical year.
You might use cold email, get an introduction, host an event, or something similar to what I’ve done.
The opportunity to connect is definitely there.
3. Offer to be helpful:
This is maybe one of the more high impact things I’ve done because it makes folks feel really good about you and you feel good about helping out.
Over the last few months, I’ve had people email me or been on calls and just said, “Let me take a look at that, I might have an idea or two that can be helpful.” Or, someone might call me and ask me a question and I answer it, research something, or just offer up a solution.
In many cases, I’m not asking for money, because some of these folks have seen their revenue cut to zero and they are trying to keep staff, save their business, and survive.
Which makes the offer of being helpful so powerful to keep your business moving. Right now, someone may be in a position where the are at a no-spend position and that may be the case for the next 90 days or more, but they still need help.
If you can offer to be assistance in a time of need, where do you think you’ll be when the pandemic is over?
Who do you think will get introductions and referrals going forward?
Who do you think is going to be a trusted advisor in the future?
And, what do you think this will do to your prospecting and networking if you are seen as a value creator that puts your partners’ needs at the forefront of your actions?
The way I’ve looked at all of these ideas is that we are sitting here, all coping and trying to deal with something that was very difficult to plan for, and right now we have the opportunity between creating value and working to make things better or just sitting around waiting for things to get better.
Nothing is guaranteed, but I’m betting that moving and creating value is the best bet.
But…those are the basics I’ve always lived by!