I’ve been locked inside my home with only my family for two weeks. With one day blending into the next in a quarantine induced haze, it can be hard to find the right tone to reach for in these emails.
It can be hard to find a way to say what you want to say, while still being respectful to all that’s happening in the world right now. One of the places where this is the most difficult is in business development.
One of my regular readers referred me to this LinkedIn post:
My heartfelt plea to business development/sales teams: PLEASE STOP the LinkedIn messages and emails of why your solution is something Atrium Health needs to switch to or use.
There is a right time…but that time isn’t now.
We wouldn’t switch quickly in the middle of normal circumstances, and much less during a pandemic like this that the world has never seen or dealt with before.
I always strive to be respectful because I value the role you have, but I barely have 15 minutes to hug my girls during these 18-20 hour days, so I probably don’t have 15-30 minutes to jump on a call to sell me something in the near future.
Please take this in the spirit it is meant — we’re all in this together ~ Chris Berger
“Should business owners pause all business development activities right now?” She asked me.
Below is my answer to her. Keep in mind, her target market is healthcare and hospitals. Your mileage may vary!
The big question you need to ask with every piece of communication right now is “does this SERVE the recipient right now”?
Is this what they need to hear? Are they going to welcome this message in their inbox and feel like you are offering them a gift? If so, send it, call, reach out.
If not, how could you serve them?
For example, if you had a low cost, quick hit, package for — let us help you inform your audience about COVID-19. We’ll get it done in a week with just 2 1-hour phone calls. I would send that email.
If you are saying, “We can redesign your website it improve engagement and bring in more high margin patients.” You need to hold off on that.
Does that make sense?
One more thing, be twice as visible with your current clients and prospects, folks who already know you. How can we help? What’s your life like right now? Just being WITH them will pay dividends later.
What do you think of what I wrote? Do you agree? Is there a way to do cold outreach right now that doesn’t come off as “tone deaf?”
I’ll close with advice on a similar question from a business advisor in the Marketing Agency space.
The best way to “sell” right now (which really means “help”) is to introduce a private constraint in your mind. “I cannot accept any work from anyone.” That will change the tone of your insight so that it’s not needy and desperate. ~David Baker
How are you “selling” right now?