As challenging as prospecting and marketing might seem in these new COVID-19 climate, keep in mind that not all is lost. Aside from talking to current customers and networking on LinkedIn, you can make a cold call warm, even hot, by doing your homework and noting which markets are flourishing. You can also make it warm by leveraging contacts you already have at your disposal.
One thing to keep in mind is that not everyone is hurting in this recession. For example, non-cyclical businesses are businesses that aren’t in a lockstep with the economy. Electric, gas and water utilities are just a few non-cyclical businesses that enjoy near constant demand in a typical recession. This recession is a bit different due to the sheltering-in-place, stay-at-home mandates that have reduced the demand for utilities in jurisdictions where many non-residential facilities are now sitting vacant. For that reason, some typically non-cyclical businesses have actually been negatively impacted by dual headwinds of COVID-19 and recession.
There are also counter-cyclical businesses, which typically do better in a bad economy. Examples include grocery stores, thrift stores, and discount retailers like Dollar Tree, all of which are getting more business since many customers are cooking more at home and/or looking for ways to reduce their spending.
Are any of these industries or markets on your lists of prospects and customers? If so, you should be laying the groundwork to approach them.
Smart sellers take market data and chart new outreach strategies and tactics. For example, look for current customers whose market segments are faring well despite the economic downturn and pandemic backdrop. Then, consider which ones are most fertile targets for cross-selling, up-serving, and/or asking for referrals. Leveraging current customers has always been a faster path to success than reaching out to strangers, and during a recession, it is even more important to cite examples of similarly configured customers who are already deriving great value from your offerings.