The world may be on lock-down, but there are still plenty of steps you as a business owner can take now to help your business prosper following the COVID-19 pandemic. If you haven’t stayed in touch with your clients during this time, initiating communication with them is a great place to begin. Creating and maintaining a client pipeline today will help ensure you’re ready to hit the ground running when the virus subsides. Here’s who you will want to include in your client pipeline and how you can open conversation with them:
Check in on your current clients. These are relationships you already have formed, and they will be the easiest bridge of communication. You can reach out to your current clients by mail, phone, email, or however you regularly stay in contact. Make sure to share your empathy for the challenges they may be facing during this time and share any relevant updates from your business that may pertain to them. When a crisis hits, individuals look for businesses they can trust. Your empathy and transparency will prove your reliability.
If your business is currently operating, remind them of your available services. Even if they are unable to do business with you at the moment, communicating with current clients will remind them of your partnership following the virus. Also, don’t cut off communication after one effort reaching out. Follow up in a few weeks, reiterating your empathy and delivering any new business updates. Keeping the communication fluid is also important for building trust and keeping your organization top of mind.
Check in with former clients who have gone dormant. Now is also a great time to check in with clients with whom you have lost touch. Perhaps since you were last in touch, your business has new offerings or services. Utilize this time to inform them of how your business has changed, and your plan for continuing business when the virus is more contained. It’s also likely that they are looking to make changes to their business operations during this time to minimize costs, is there a unique service you can provide to reform that business relationship? Just as with your current clients, let them know that you are thinking of their well-being and their business during this time, and reach out through your typical method of communication.
Form new relationships. Yes, now can be the time to plant new seeds. Devote some time to researching potential business leads. Consider any businesses you have kept on the back burner, waiting for the right time to initiate conversation. The right time is now. Reach out to your professional network and ask for recommendations for new business. Are there businesses that didn’t require your services prior to COVID-19, but now may need your support after the impact of the virus? While it may seem like no one is thinking about forming new business relationships now, building a pipeline is a gradual formation, and it’s very likely that you will be able to build something down the line from the conversation you start now.