Getting through to buyers is a daunting task, even in the most stable of environments. Yet with the world in constant flux due to the coronavirus pandemic, businesses are now competing with all sorts of extra demands on buyers’ time, including new working from home considerations.
As always, breaking through your buyers’ daily concerns will require clear and concise messaging in order to engage your audience effectively. But, post-COVID-19, reaching customers will also require empathy, ingenuity, and a keen attention to detail.
To help address the added complexities of today’s business landscape, we’ve put together a list of four ways to help your communications cut through the pandemic noise:
1. See things from your buyers’ perspective
With each new email, outreach attempt, or asset, it’s best to start by reminding yourself of what your buyer is going through. Consider what pressing issues might fill their day. Review the possible social and financial repercussions that the coronavirus may have had within their respective industries. When in doubt, conduct some research regarding funding reports or major news announcements to assess how target businesses might have been affected and what specific steps they might be taking.
It’s also advisable to review buying behaviors from the past six months. This may involve a temperature check on local and/or global trends or even a simple email check-in with your buyers. These efforts will help you identify the industries or personas that have reevaluated their budget spending in the wake of the virus.
As you attempt to walk in your buyers’ shoes and understand their mindset, remember that just as you yourself have likely experienced a drastic shift in priorities, your buyers are probably going through something similar. Before getting in touch, consider what kinds of pain points your buyers might be encountering and perform some in-house triage regarding what to send and when. Don’t pick up the phone or hit “send” on an email until you’ve asked yourself some questions such as:
- “Will my services help with health, safety, or other overriding concerns?”
- “Can my product help my buyers with their immediate needs or daily work-from-home routines?”
- “Does my message need to be heard right this minute, or would it be more useful at a later date?”
If you do decide to get in touch, pay attention to tone. Think about the types of messages you’d be grateful to receive in a crisis and do your buyers the courtesy of addressing them in the exact same way.
2. Consider frequency and pacing
News moves fast, so be sure to move with it. When things change and essential information arises, it’s crucial to reach out to buyers as quickly as possible. They’ll likely appreciate being kept in the loop, particularly if your updates can offer new perspectives or palliative solutions.
That said, pacing is also key. Make sure you’re communicating with buyers for relevant reasons rather than spamming them to ensure they’re still around. Leveraging analytics for personalization can help here. If you’re able to segment your buyers by demographics such as industry and identify their specific COVID-related struggles, you’ll be better able to send tailored outreach content–thereby keeping buyers informed and engaged without wasting their time.
With an influx of new information and content to juggle, a sales enablement platform can both organize and centralize your outreach assets. This type of solution can also provide insight into how buyers are responding to your content and interacting with your sellers, allowing you to adjust your strategies as needed to ensure maximum impact.
3. Let your buyers in
If ever there were an occasion to take your buyers “behind the scenes,” now would be it. This means that it’s time for your messaging to get real. Post-COVID buyers will likely have very little patience for outreach that’s inauthentic, heavy on salesmanship, or too reliant on purple prose.
For best results, be up front about your company’s plans to support buyers during lockdown (and beyond). Examples of this kind of support can include:
- Efforts to repurpose your products to serve the greater good
- Added social distancing safety precautions for your offices or storefront locations
- Strategies for contactless delivery of products and services
These types of programs will help cast you in the role of “human” rather than “seller” and will help establish your brand as a trusted life raft in uncharted waters. An added bonus? Such programs will also demonstrate some much-needed compassion during an uncertain time. Remember, though: You’ll need proof of your commitment to going beyond your bottom line in order to validate your claims. It might be useful to develop visual messaging that offers concrete details regarding your COVID policies, strategies, and charitable efforts.
4. Do more than what’s necessary
When building your post-COVID communications plan, don’t forget that every other business out there is doing the very same thing. Translation: The status quo probably won’t be enough to break through and engage buyers.
Stand out from the crowd and avoid lip-service tactics like “We’re here for you” emails or pictures of employees with masks bearing company logos. Instead, focus on what can set you apart. Consider:
- How can your services offer specialized and exceptional value at this time?
- In what ways is this value different from that of your competitors?
- How can your trusted products be adapted to provide relief in a working from home environment?
If you’re able to infuse your messaging with definitive examples of practical services that will make someone’s day go a bit smoother or allow a business client’s processes to move a bit quicker, it’s likely people will be more willing to listen. This is especially true if your company’s collective expertise offers the type of assistance that can’t be found anywhere else.
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Recalibrating communications to better accommodate our new environment is now a given for any clever, resourceful business. To get through to your buyers in a work-from-home world, it’s essential to exercise sympathy and transparency at the right moment. Even more critically, it’s imperative to show a capacity to go the extra mile for your consumers, even without the guarantee of a sale. As you move forward, bear in mind that the post-COVID communications process will be ongoing. Remember, too, that your business should always make a point of approaching people as humans first and buyers second.