To Pitch or Not To Pitch?

For those businesses that still can, picking up the phone and selling your services over the past few weeks has been an excerise in cautious trepidation.

We’ve had to do it. That’s the nature of our business and well, we have to eat, pay bills and like – survive.

Not everyone agrees with subsidies/helicopter money – I’ll talk about that in another time.

Just how do you go about promoting nonessential products and services at a time of rising death rates and increasing unemployment?

One wrong pitch, post or email could upend a brand or company’s hard-earned reputation within a matter of hours.

Or a misstep like David Geffen – big time Hollywood mogul – posting sunset pictures on Instagram from his yacht in the Grenadines, wondering if everyone was doing ok back in the US. He has since taken his account private.

How brands or brand-name people behave and appear to their customers/partners and prospective customers/partners during the pandemic could impact how people percieve them from now on.

Youtube in particular and other channels are awash with some pretty poor efforts to tie products to the pandemic. These will do untold brand damage.

To answer my question at the start about how you sell non-essential services – you can’t make them essential but you can make them relevant.

And if what you offer is not relevant, one thing that is both essential and relevant to all of us is communication.

Get your content right on this. Look to the future and try and envisage when the dust settles where your business is going to be.  How can your customers be relevant at a time when everyone is scared stiff of what happens after the three month mortgage break lapses?

It’s ok to pause and strategise — tell your customers this. Communicate it. This a time to look at those other projects that you never had time to look at it.

If you’re a small shop or cafe or restaurant, put a note in your store or on your socials (shameless pitch here – we can help) and let everyone know what’s going on.

Lower your rates – if you make yourself uber-competitive and your proposition is strong, you can make it hard for customers not to ignore your offering.

I learnt this little chestnut in the teeth of the last recession while still looking for the same rates even though the world had no money.

If you cut your cloth to match the economic winds you will have more chance of making it to the other side.

Most importantly let your staff know. Every day. They are your heroes on YOUR frontline.

This won’t last, it’s a small world and even though you may have lost some crew members, your paths will cross again.

And remember, don’t pitch. Have a conversation.

Business development is circular.