We all remember the feeling when COVID first hit. The market was cruising at 75 mph and then the parking brake suddenly gets pulled causing several professionals to skid out of control. Many froze at the wheel not knowing what to do.
The “Oh shit, now what?” feeling hit all of us to a certain degree.
Human nature came into play in various ways. Some panicked thinking only about themselves while they hoarded toilet paper. Others remained calm and thought of ways to help others.
Now many professionals are taking this opportunity to adjust and streamline their operations, while others still have the hatches battened down and remain idle hoping the storm will soon pass.
During this pandemic, I continue to coach and train professionals domestically and internationally. Here are some of the top business development practices I have seen by those who are succeeding in this challenging and restrictive market.
The right mindset. They do not see this as doom and gloom time, rather a time to adjust and improve habits that may have been overlooked during pre-COVID.
New or modified services – They look at ways to provide value add to the market through virtual means. In-person workshops turn into Zoom workshops. Small projects are offered at a reduced fee (or at no charge) to address the strained client budgets while strengthening client loyalty.
Increased activity on social media – They are increasing their time on social media. They realize that consistent activity on social media such as LinkedIn not only pays off in the long term but also in the short term. Many are already reaping the rewards.
Consistent outreach to contacts – They are taking advantage of the extra time to reach out to more of their network. Geographical challenges for an in-person meeting are no longer an issue.
Aligned priorities – They have learned that business development needs to be part of their practice rather than something they do when they have time. They have the discipline and accountability to connect with their contacts more consistently. Many carve out 30 minutes per day at the start or the end of the day for business development.
Action vs. Inertia. They continue to invest in their growth. The individuals and firms who are investing in their businesses and people are not only excelling during this time but will also be far ahead of their competition when we get past this pandemic.
Most all businesses will deal with tough headwinds at times. Currently the market conditions are very challenging for many professionals. How businesses and individuals choose to navigate through these rough waters can produce different outcomes.
There is no real secret sauce to this. It comes down to creativity, talent, focus, discipline, and hard work.
The key is to find ways to keep moving forward. Sitting idle and waiting for things to change typically do not work.