BY BILL FAETH
There will be life and business after coronavirus.
The questions on everyone’s mind are how fast business will come back and when we’ll be “normal." I am an optimist, so I believe we will see the ground transportation industry moving again starting in June with leisure travel (I am writing this in mid-April), followed by business travelers in July. It will be a slow return until the public has confidence.
The truth is, it’s anyone’s guess. Sure, we all have opinions, but Mother Nature is in control right now.
As we all wait it out, there are things you can be doing now to increase your preparedness and increase the odds of your business coming back faster. It is critical to use this time to sustain and even strengthen your relationships with your clients by engaging your existing base. When we as a nation start moving, we are going to where we are comfortable—our trusted partners.
1. Call your clients. Now is the time to reach out to your clients and have a conversation with them. In no way should you be selling to them, but you should be checking in on them, asking how they are doing, inquiring if you can help them in any way, and letting them know you are still open and operating as an essential service with updated sanitization and safety protocols in place.
Start by calling the clients with whom you have the strongest relationship, then move on to your most valuable clients. Schedule time on your calendar to make these calls each day (at the same time), so it becomes a part of your daily routine.
2. Write emails. Most companies I have worked with over the years don’t prioritize email marketing to their clients and prospects because “they don’t have time.” Well, now is the time to start writing emails that you can use when your business starts to roll again. You should begin by understanding that the content within your emails should be uniquely targeted to the different types of clients you have (I call them Buyer Personas). There’s no one-size-fits-all email here.
Identify your Top 3 Buyer Personas and write three emails to each of them, personalize them, and make sure your content benefits them and not you. This segmentation is vital because not all content will apply to all targets.
3. Update your website/social media. This is a BIG one as your website most likely doesn’t contain content regarding your new protocols for combating the spread of COVID-19 (protecting both your clients and chauffeurs). Now is the time to define (update) your SOPs for disinfecting your vehicles and sanitizing them after each trip, as well as the procedures you are taking to keep your staff safe. Post on the homepage of your website along with additional protocols such as contactless service, luggage handling policies, greeting policies, etc., and then link to a dedicated page on your website that has images to accompany these steps. Pro Tip: Include this information in the emails you start writing to your clients and your social media posts across all channels.
4. Prepare. Execute. Before you start on these projects, take some time to plan out your strategy by documenting goals, objectives, and timelines. Then start preparing by gathering the needed assets and resources you will need. But, before you do, be sure you schedule your “execution time” on your calendar, so it becomes a priority. Now you’re ready to execute. This part is simple if you have made it a priority and have the focus to complete each task before you move onto the next. Don’t move onto the next until the previous task is completed. It will be a recipe for failure as the uncompleted tasks pile on top of each other. One at a time!
Be among the few who is well prepared with a plan of attack. You should be thinking about this like you are starting your business from scratch again as you rekindle relationships, while targeting new verticals and prospects when you begin to grow again. It’s not going to be easy, but the ones who prepare and work the plan now will have an advantage when the world slowly opens again for business.
Bill Faeth is the founder of Limo University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.