As Covid-19 restrictions continue to slowly ease, businesses and their employees are keen to return to work and regain some normality in their daily lives. But with a lockdown that has endured for months, it’s becoming increasingly clear that life in the business world won’t go back to normal for some time – if ever. It’s a worrying period for companies as they try to stimulate activity in their markets during a time when consumer confidence is at a low not seen since the 2008 financial crash. Many distributors and retailers will feel understandably apprehensive about making sales calls at a time when their clients may have their backs against the wall. But the fact is that growth is essential for all businesses to survive and as a print provider, you have the potential to support your clients’ recovery. The question is not whether they can afford to invest in print right now – but can they afford not to? Encouraging your customers to be proactive about their recovery, and supporting them with honest advice and valuable expertise, is a way to build trust while also getting the wheels of commerce turning again. Here are some ideas for reconnecting with customers as we all get back to business…
If they’re worried about safety
Businesses are reopening in completely new territory as far as health and safety is concerned. They need ways to communicate visually with both their customers and their staff about all the protocols in place for safe distancing, hand hygiene, contactless payment and more. Having ready-made templates for these products can save your customer time and show that you’re taking a proactive approach to their needs, which helps to build confidence.
If footfall is slow
Established businesses may well overlook the fact that they need to get across the simple message: we are open. While restrictions in the same area may lift at the same time, individual businesses are operating on their own schedules so customers will not assume they’re open unless they get the message out. Your clients will need your creativity to help them choose the best products for their individual premises, industry or location, and to help them stand out from the crowd too.
If they’ve had to pivot
Some companies are not yet in a position to reopen their premises as normal and are having to change the way they work to fit in around the restrictions. Bars and restaurants are a classic example, with many switching to takeout services. Businesses adapting to a new normal will welcome support from partners with expertise to guide them around the best ways to communicate the changes to both customers and employees. Think about products or services you offer that might help them to do this.
If they’re not ready yet
Some of your potential clients may not be ready to open yet and others may be open but not ready to buy. Now is not the time for a hard sell. Businesses that strike the right note on their sales calls now may still benefit in the weeks and months to come so first and foremost, remember to be a human. Ask the customer how they are and what their current situation is. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help – and mean it. Make a few suggestions from the points above with regards to how print can support their recovery when they’re ready, and leave it at that. Being too pushy will only add stress at a time when your customer is already fraught, and this can cause lasting damage to client relationships. A light touch goes a long way.
For more information on how Frontline can support you and your customers during this time of recovery, speak to one of our sales advisers or email firstname.lastname@example.org.