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How your Business Can Get More Customers Despite Disruption

Recently, Petra Coach hosted a Coaches’ Corner – a 1-hour session of live Q&A with Certified Petra Coaches. This webinar featured coaches Andy Bailey, Jason Rush, JT Terrell and Jennifer Faught.

The content is invaluable to leaders during this unprecedented time.

You can find the full recording here.

To augment the recording, below is a brief recap of questions, answers and resources from the session.

Q: Our business has pivoted – What does the continuation of that plan look like?

A: You need to think that this is your new normal and see how you could continue doing what you’re doing from this state. We don’t know when this will end, and we don’t know if something like this could happen again. If you’re making a change now, it’s probably something that is going to be happening for a very long time.

Also, be thinking of the next pivot points and where you could continue to pivot.

Example:

  • Commercial Real Estate: Will people now be working from home?
  • Making Hand Sanitizer: We will continue to be using hand sanitizer – the next flu season will be huge.

Q: How can I get more customers during this time?

A: Everyone is kind of shifting their mindsets right now and may be more open to different or new ideas. Don’t feel afraid to sell or market yourself. People are looking for opportunity and this is a great time to reach out.

Ask your customers what they need from you!

Questions to Ask:

  • How are you doing?
  • What’s going on in your industry?
  • How are we doing?
  • How can we be most helpful?

The answers from these questions could also provide you with a pivot idea.

Q: Should we be offering promotions right now to make a sale?

A: Offering services at a lower price? Is it strategically a good decision? Do you need a cash flow or does it put a strain on your business by selling it at a low price? Think strategically about it.

Look at your core assets and what you do well – Are there components of those assets that you can deliver, and can you hone in on what you can deliver instead of it all combined?

Devaluing what is premium is not advised, but see about taking a piece of what you do or sell to give them a bit of experience where they normally wouldn’t receive it.

Q: What if you have team members that don’t want to come back to work because they are receiving more from unemployment?

A: It’s only a temporary 4-month program and it’s a short-term issue. If you have someone taking advantage of this situation, it may be a trigger that they’re not the right team member. Speak to those team members about the WHY behind the work your team does.

Also, there are people out there that are looking for job – go hire them! An A player will produce 3x the amount of a C player.

Q: How do we keep culture alive?

A: Most of these items start with leadership and then trickle down to the rest of the team. If they see that the leaders are involved, they will want to be too.

Examples:

  • Virtual lunches, happy hours or team building games on Zoom
  • Send notes to team members

Q: What do employees on unemployment do about health insurance?

A: Different states have different policies – you would need to ask your HR department. It will depend on the policy of your state.

Before you furlough an employee, give them a packet of what their next steps are for insurance or if they are able to come back, how to set things up when they do come back.

Be clear with your team and let them know if there will not be an opportunity to come back or if there will be. If you do have people that could be brought back, still train them while they’re at home, so that they can return better.

Q: How do you handle hiring during this time?

A: This is an opportunity to look at your on-boarding process. Take advantage of the time you have to review this process.

Train on where you’re going with the business – there’s not much need to train on the past or what it was. “Train for the future and where you are going.”

Q: We are a small company in entertainment. How do we approach companies coming out of quarantine? We’re skeptical about having groups of people together again.

A: Probably default to whatever the law allows and maybe you could tailor what you do and your offerings to those. This is a great area to find a pivot and create a new offerings for people.

Gather some messaging for your clients that lets them know what to expect when they come back. It’s probably a ways away before we gather in very large groups, so be thinking of how you can pivot.

How can you function and still practice social distancing?

Q: How do you handle team members who are not buying into the pivot?

A: Give them the WHY behind it – if they’re not buying in, they will drag you down. Everyone has got to buy into the new idea or it won’t work.

Think, “If you can’t change the people, change the people.”

Things are changing quickly and we need to make decisions fast. You don’t want to be slow to take action.

Q: What do you see coming down the pipe for the economy?

A: It all depends on what business you are in. Hospitality and sporting events will be heavily affected.

Through a conservative lens, it’s not a question of “if,” it’s a question of “when” – the economy may take one more drop and we can slowly dig our way out of this. It may be January 2021 before things are really rolling again. After the flu season people will feel confident in the market – second stake in the sand could be 2021.

Short Term – We will be in a phase and then have to take a few steps back, move to the next phase, take a step back, and keep repeating.

Long Term – It may take us through 2021 to 2022 to get out of the recession – typically 2-4 year return.