Why is it usually hard to schedule your executives to connect with your customers? In addition to having a lot of demands on their time, they were travelling! Since that is not happening at least in the near term, you have a unique opportunity to connect your executives with your customers.
Go on “offense” – get your executives involved!
You have two basic choices regarding communicating with your customers in this restricted environment…you can either retreat and wait OR you can go on offense. I prefer to be on offense because it naturally keeps you better informed and improves your position for future business. What do your customers’ executive want to hear from your executives?
- How your company is adapting – this includes what your company is doing internally because it may provide good ideas.
- Your company will “be there” to support them – customer executives want reassurance their critical initiatives will still be supported by your company
- Willingness to be flexible – priorities are changing…customer executives may ask about flexibility in project scheduling, payment structures, etc.
Why do I have an old picture of John McEnroe (winner of 7 Grand Slam tennis titles) here? He was always on offense, always looking for an opportunity to attack…it was why he won so much.
How to approach putting this into action
YOU want to control the process so you know exactly what is happening and can manage your executives perception of how you approach your customers. Why not take the opportunity to look good in front of your management?
- Schedule your executives to meet on video conference with your customer executives
- YOU orchestrate the meeting with the customer
- Ensure your executive is well informed before the call regarding overall relationship status, current opportunities and challenges the customer is facing due to the coronavirus.
- Work with your executives to resolve internal challenges negatively impacting sales
- This may be a great time to resolve significant internal challenges that have impeded sales! Get their support and agree on an action plan!
This proactive effort WILL payoff
Customer executives will appreciate your effort. Establish a goal for yourself (e.g. connect with 2 customer executives per week). While there may not be new business short term, surely your customer will remember the conversation with your executive. You have definitely taken a step to elevate the customer relationship!
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