As the corona virus continues to spread throughout the world, the time has come to focus on cultivating relationships through digital channels.
Recently, most of the major headlines in the major global and local news outlets talk about the Coronavirus. International events are canceled, travel restrictions in many countries have taken effect, and every day the number of infections is rising. Many companies have begun to reduce, and even stop, business travel until the virus disappears or a vaccine is found. This trend also includes domestic flights within the U.S. as companies do their best to prevent the spread of the virus, protect their employees, and of course their profits. Employees in isolation, even if they are not diagnosed as carriers, can disable company work. Netflix, which is taking precautionary measures such as requiring actresses like Gal Gadot to fly via private jet, even though they are usually against the phenomenon due to air pollution. This is because if Gal is required to be in isolation, filming will have to stop for several weeks, resulting in substantial losses.
So, what does this mean for business? Are we supposed to wait for it to pass? It is possible to slow down for now but note that even if you do not see the negative impact this has on your bottom line now, you will feel it in the future. This doesn't have to be the case -- even in these tough days you can still meet your 2020 goals.
The last few years have prepared us for exactly such situations. In the last two decades technology and the internet have taken over almost every aspect of our lives. The world has long since become digital and we have everything we need to do business as usual, without putting ourselves or our employees at risk.
Exhibition canceled? Obviously, it's a shame. There is nothing like being at a tradeshow and getting to know people, lecturing at a global event, or presenting your solutions in a beautifully designed pavilion. However, even without being physically there you still have the opportunity to connect with people. Contact lecturers, presenters and attendees with whom you planned to meet at the event and start a conversation on LinkedIn. Make video calls and nurture your business relationships with the many tools available -- social networks, e-mail, conferencing tools like Zoom and GoToMeeting, and even meeting scheduling platforms provided by some exhibitions. While some events are canceled, other organizers don't give up and move to online events -- because that's possible. You can make connections and sign deals with new partners and customers without taking the risk of traveling.
Did you have to cancel your flight to New York or London to meet potential customers? Don't wait until the Corona virus passes to arrange another meeting. Set it up now -- with a video call. Customers will understand you and will certainly appreciate your initiative. You can continue to reach your target audience through social networks and e-mail and schedule online demos and video calls instead of face-to-face meetings. You can fill your pipeline with qualified leads even without boarding a plane!
In the end, it's all about using the right tools and methodology -- from in-depth research into your target audience and how to reach them and continuing with tools to build online relationships and meetings that you can count on. Building an effective process will help you and the bottom line of your business at such times and will continue to help fill your sales pipeline when you return to travel. The next time you go to an event or business meeting, your calendar will already be filled with appointments you know you wanted. Don't wait for the virus to pass. Act now and respond to the crisis by scheduling online meetings with your target audience. With the right strategy nothing will stop you from reaching your 2020 goals.Want more information on how to get started? Send me a message on LinkedIn, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.