As mentioned in the latest newsletter (March 26), despite the current disruption to all of our businesses and lives, we are absolutely convinced that things will improve and we will return to a more normal state of affairs. Why do we believe this? Because it’s what we do – what human beings do. Always have and always will. With that in mind, we continue our series on holistic lead generation in the hope that it will help you prepare for increased client acquisition efforts when we return to normal.
Again, here’s a quick refresher on what it means to take the L. E. A. D. for client acquisition:
- Listen – to your target audience and they will tell you how to convert them.
- Educate – your audience on solutions to their pain points.
- Adapt – to the needs of a broad client base.
- Develop – services or products that meet specific needs.
These steps will become the foundation for a fully integrated, well-conceived approach to generating leads that will address the needs of your target audience. This will enable you to communicate with them as individuals, not as a vague, superficial, poorly defined collection of personality types.
A Real-World Business Response to COVID-19
Let’s dive a little deeper into more of the practical steps of the L. E. A. D. approach; steps you can take to effectively generate leads for your business, despite the pandemic.
- Listening includes increasing communication – in both directions. As we’ve mentioned before, prior and existing clients may be your greatest asset. Since they already know and trust you, they are an invaluable source of information about the value of the things you do – as well as a resource for referrals. Engaging with them will enable you to speak to them about alternative offers, explore new value-added services, and make yourself invaluable to them and prospective clients.
BTW… Using remote conferencing and video chat apps will likely be the most effective. By keeping you face-to-face with them, these apps enable you to see body language and hear intonation. If these are unavailable for some reason, phone calls would probably be your next best choice, with email last on the list.
- Education and learning are equally valuable – to your audience and to you. Learning about the challenges your clients are facing will create opportunities for you to offer increased, targeted support. The current situation could create life-altering changes that will need both short- and long-term solutions. Weekly meet-ups with clients, prospects, and team members should become the norm (at least temporarily). Click here for more on getting to know your clients
Unfortunately, while they may be able to articulate the issues that have cropped up in their lives or businesses, they may have no idea how to cope. That is where you can offer them the greatest value, by presenting practical, real-world solutions that will help them move beyond the needs of the moment, and focus on their future.
- Adapting to the needs of a broad client base now includes adjusting to new challenges. Many entrepreneurs and business owners are busy brainstorming ideas for generating revenue in the face of COVID-19. You can use this adapting step as an exercise to develop and create new, more effective products and/or services.
This is where you will begin to employ some outside-the-box thinking, since new challenges are going to need new solutions. You may need to get some online training yourself, as a means to offer more services and greater value. You may want to offer special deals, temporary rate reductions, and freebies to generate interest. You may even want to reexamine your values in an effort to discover what really matters – to you and your clients – in these challenging times.
- Developing new products and services will be critical to your success – This will likely include broadening your own skillset, as well as finding new ways to present them. This is especially true for service providers, like coaches for example. Develop new online offers; packages they can buy and consume online as they practice social distancing.
You will want to expand your services menu to use your entire skillset, as you figure out new and inventive ways to offer value to your clients. Admittedly, developing online training, webinars, and teleseminars takes considerable time and energy but, as a way to keep revenue flowing, these are going to be some of your best options right now. Plus, they are the safest, most effective way to continue supporting your clients.
Even if staying in touch with clients and team members on a regular basis involves nothing but sharing stories and commiserating, staying engaged has value. Being visible will keep you front-of-mind when things return to normal. Showing you care will build trust and loyalty, which will allow you to resume business more quickly once this pandemic ends.
Innovative Ideas to Generate Revenue in Times of Crisis
Granted this is all easier said than done so, here are a few examples we heard of recently that may just offer some inspiration:
- Bakery survives – A local bakery has been all but forced to close due to the restrictions placed on businesses. While they can deliver and are available for pick up orders, their revenue has been slashed. Their solution was quick to develop, and now, they are offering online baking classes at a modest fee. This is keeping them engaged with their customer base, while offering a valuable service, and it has also allowed them to soften the blow of their lost revenue.
- Masseuse manipulates business her model – A massage therapist we heard of has had to stop all direct interaction with her client list. Revenue has dropped to nearly zero. Her response is innovative and effective. She has begun creating a series of meditation videos that teaches self-massage techniques, as well as online classes for couples to learn massage for each other. While her fees too are modest, she has weathered the storm so far and is looking forward to reopening her studio as soon as possible.
- Online coach tries pay as you go – Finally, we know of a weight loss coach who has had to adapt to a significant loss of revenue because many of her clients are either not working or are working much less. Their loss of income has forced them to stop working with her since they simply cant afford her fees. Knowing how important her work is to her clients, her response is to offer the same services to all existing clients but – she has set up an innovative “Pay What You Can” business model. Clients who’ve continued to work with her to lose or maintain their weight always pay her something, while many pay nearly as much as she normally charges.
These examples of outside-the-box thinking and marketing are enabling business owners to survive in spite of the restraints being placed on them. The fact that they refuse to simply let their businesses die is inspiring and we hope they help you to develop your own approach to staying active and productive.
And yes, we truly believe that optimism is key because we know that life and business WILL return to normal and, when it does, you want to be ready.
Are you looking for more client acquisition and lead generation tips, email marketing ideas, help with your online marketing strategy, or other marketing ideas? Get in touch with the YOMT Team today.