In any given year, your pipeline endures seasonal ebbs and flows. You’re used to this and have adjusted your sales strategy accordingly. But what do you do when a global health crisis has slowed your flood of new leads to a trickle?
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a significant challenge to how you do business. Events have been cancelled. Travel restrictions have been enforced. Many businesses have moved to remote work environments and others have temporarily closed their doors. In addition, economic uncertainty in the financial markets has triggered slowdowns, causing many of your clients and prospects to take a closer look at their finances – making it more difficult to sell to new leads.
So, how can you maintain and strengthen your sales pipeline for now – and the long-term as we emerge from this crisis?
Your B, C and D clients and prospects could prove valuable. By taking the time to reach out to and re-establish relationships with these leads, you open up growth opportunities with a larger pool of prospects.
“My business model has had to change during the pandemic, but it’s been a real opportunity for me to re-focus on my existing book-of-business. I’ve even hired two new brokers to focus on reconnecting with these clients,” remarked Kevin Sokolow from the Gabor Agency on expanding his sales channels amid the pandemic.[SJ1][FM2]
Creating a game plan
Before reaching out to these clients it’s important to have a strategy in place. Follow these steps to develop a plan for integrating your existing book-of-business into your overall selling strategy.
- Do the research – These clients likely have different needs and motivations than your A clients. Reach these clients where they are at with messaging and resources that will resonate with them.
- Set a goal – Establish a set percentage of dedicated selling time on outreach to your B, C and D prospects.
- Make it actionable – It might not be the right time to sell, but these interactions should still
be actionable. Build a connection with these clients by sharing a resource or setting up time to talk through their challenges.
- Plan to stay connected – Develop a strategy for maintaining your relationships with these
leads when things return to business as usual. This might include hiring or reassigning a team member to manage these clients.
Now how can you initiate these conversations?
In these uncertain times, your clients are foremost looking for empathy, for resources to help them navigate this period of uncertainty. Check-in to see how they’re navigating the pandemic. Follow the simple steps outlined below to stay top of mind with them and set the stage for renewed work when the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
- ÿStay in touch with your clients through emails or texts. Subjects could include:
- Getting an update on how they are handling the crisis
- Is there anything you can do to help them?
- Invite them to a virtual meeting to check-in with them?
- Review any changes to your business plans
- ÿAlert clients to blogs, articles or other media that may be of interest including:
- For business clients:
- Stories about companies in similar industries that may be of interest
- Steps businesses could take to preserve capital
- Information on how to help employees through the downturn
- Instructions on resuming business amid growing restrictions
- How to survive operating at a reduced business level
- How to prepare for any future business interruptions
- Advice on how to reach out to their customers about resuming business
- For individual clients:
- Updates on the financial markets and an outlook for the future
- Evaluate short-term and long-terms options to protect them financially from the impacts of COVID-19
- Communicate any legislative updates that may impact them including:
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Updates from the Library of Congress
- State specific guidance on unemployment benefits
- Discuss a cadence for how often you’ll communicate with your clients
- For business clients:
Need help getting started? Check out MassMutual®’s new YourValueProp tool, which allows you to quickly create a sharply focused value proposition for your worksite business, centered on what clients really care about. By articulating how you approach and solve your clients’ problems, you are able to demonstrate the value you bring to their business and prime for upsell opportunities.
Plus, the output of the tool is an easily shareable PDF, which referral partners can use to understand and communicate your value with their network. All while enhancing your overall brand. Create your own value proposition today at yourvalueprop.com/worksite.
Keep in mind, we’re living through an unprecedented global event that is sure to have lasting effects on consumer behavior and expectations. Stay up to date with insights on how the pandemic is impacting your industry and adjust accordingly.
The information provided is not written or intended as specific tax or legal advice. MassMutual and its subsidiaries, employees, and representatives are not authorized to give tax or legal advice. You are encouraged to seek advice from your own tax or legal counsel. Opinions expressed by those interviewed are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of MassMutual.
©2020 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual®), Springfield, MA 01111-0001. All rights reserved.
FOR FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR USE WITH THE PUBLIC.