If you haven't noticed, things are shifting. Things HAVE shifted. And if you are expecting things to go back to the way they were, they won't. Why am I being this blunt? Because I want you to be thinking of how you are shifting. My husband and I are in real estate here in Las Vegas. We mainly focus on residential properties. We interviewed our broker for an episode of "Ask Jameen- a weekly podcast answering top real estate questions we receive from our past and current clients". We asked him what his advice was for businesses to maintain their position in this season. Amongst other things, he simply said, "Serve."
He was absolutely right. But as a business, how can you really do that? As I thought through his advice, I listed 3 strategies to be thinking about as you evolve in your business and fortify your position as a leader in your industry. It's the "3 S's".
1. Sincerity (aka Authenticity). Before this pandemic, being a "service" oriented organization was more like a "social responsibility checked box", "all the kids are doing it" "thing to do". But now in a season where entire countries (including the United States) are staring into the face of total economic shutdown within weeks and leadership is forced to choose between public health or a running economy, these so-called social responsibility statements are being called to task. What does this mean as a small business owner? Service and social responsibility should be at the forefront of your business strategy. Notice, I didn't say "marketing strategy". Make sure you understand, as a business, what service means to you and how you can affect change and positivity around you. That's what your clients and customers will be looking for after this. They will be asking the question, "What did you do with what you had when we all had nothing?"
2. Solutions. Yes, everyone is looking for some type of solution but this is more in how you communicate it. This COVID-19 pandemic has reduced us all into a place of necessity. The temperature of commerce is not for "frills" but for real solutions. Can this provide a solution for me? What does this mean for those who are both essential and non-essential (aka need-to-haves and nice-to-haves)? This means your pitch needs to be on point. Understand the benefits you bring and make sure you are cleary communicating the benefits of your product or service (not the features) to your clients or customers. They need to be able to know how your product or service makes their lives better.
3. Sameness (aka Consistency). It's a fact that crises bring out the survival mode in people, and one thing that people gravitate to, especially in this moment, is consistency. This can work in many ways but your communication with your current clients and customers is key. At this moment, you might think that your priority is to get new clients right now. While this is still okay, the moment to give a steady, consistent message to your current clients will go a long way once this pandemic over. Let your business be the business that serves them and doesn't ask for anything in return. Let your business be the business that sends a quick message "just checking in". Let your business be the business that provides something of value, free of charge but you know it will help. Trust me, your clients will remember it, and they will remember you.