Business development has always come down to personal contact. You do all you can to set up meetings and prime your customers, but the best work comes with eye contact and a handshake. With the current pandemic, though, the world has moved into social distancing mode. You can look at this as a setback, but it also creates opportunities to set yourself apart. Your approach to socially distanced business development can move you forward.
1. Explain Your Response
Communication remains essential to business development. Your customers will be concerned about how to work with you. Communicate with everyone to let them know how you and your company are navigating social distancing rules. It will help put them at ease.
2. Pick Up the Phone
Written communication helps, but today people need human contact. When you can't see people in person, you should pick up the phone to check-in. Stay in touch with the people you should be reaching.
3. Use Video Conferencing
Sometimes the phone is not enough. Seeing people's faces has a tremendous psychological impact. Video conferencing technology is accessible and affordable, more than ever before. If you can't come together in person, getting face-to-face on the screen can serve as the next best thing.
4. Support Your Team
It isn't just about you, of course. Your sales team must deal with doing its job in new ways. Take time to reassure them and make sure they have the tools to succeed in the new environment. Listen, and make sure they know you are on their side.
5. Support Your Customers
Your customers, too, are going through stressful times. Businesses are losing sales and customers, and some face closing down. Your B2B contacts will undoubtedly need chances to talk about their struggles. In these times, one of the most important things you can do is listen.
6. Enhance Your Automation
Many businesses were adopting relationship management software before the COVID-19 virus emerged. Today, with people working remotely and connecting electronically, it is more important than ever. Automate your lead tracking and your follow-ups to make sure you are on top of your business development tasks and process.
7. Provide Answers
People today are afraid. Your sales team and your customers are looking for guidance on what to do next. With information inconsistent and incomplete, they need leadership more than ever. Do your research, and work with them to give answers and develop solutions to their concerns. More than ever, this will earn their trust and their business.
The world is changing quickly. By taking steps to understand and respond to it, you can give your business development efforts a shot in the arm. It can make the difference between treading water and growing your organization to new heights.