As the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world, like businesses in most other industries, office technology dealers were left scrambling to furlough some employees. Abandoned offices and employees working remotely from home means there are fewer people printing, which translates to fewer service techs on the road and lower profits. However, this crisis is temporary, and business will go on. Eventually, we will get back to business-as-usual, which means business owners need to keep their pipeline going. So, what are dealers doing to survive during these unprecedented times? What should you do from a marketing standpoint, and how should you approach your customers and prospects?
What’s the Best Way to Market My Business?
There is no way better way during the pandemic to market your products and services than through email marketing. Email marketing continues to be the most cost-effective way for B2B marketers to reach their target audience, and it boasts an extraordinary return on investment (ROI). In addition, with stay-at-home and social distancing orders in place across the country, it is very hard to knock on doors and prospect these days, as most employees are working from home and keeping their distance from others. However, everyone still has access to their email.
Take a Creative Approach
Webinars are another perfectly suitable way for dealers to engage with their customers and upsell them into automation and software solutions. Make it fun—promote a virtual ‘happy hour’ via Zoom or GoToMeeting and encourage them to turn on their camera and have a beer or glass of wine during the presentation. Then, show them how you can automate their business—just don’t lead with a sales pitch, as most businesses are not willing to open up their wallets at this time when cash flow is an issue for most. Instead, approach your customers in a casual manner, letting them know that now that we might have a little more time on our hands, it’s a great time to learn about other products and solutions that can enable them to automate their business down the road. But, most importantly, express to them that you are not trying to sell them anything at this time; rather, simply demonstrate these solutions for them so that when the time is right, you can re-engage. Don’t be afraid to demo your hardware, too, using your smartphone!
What Else Can I Do?
While things are quieter than usual, now is a great opportunity for you to dial in your marketing list, optimize your website, clean up your CRM, and set up your digital marketing presence for success. Approach your customers and ask them to leave you a Google Review…boost up that reputation management on Google. It’s free, and it pays to have more online reviews than your competitors.
What Are Other Dealers Doing?
Here at Evolved Office, we manage the marketing efforts of a lot of office technology dealers. We have seen an increase in email marketing since the pandemic began impacting America, and a lot of the content has been focused on promotions such as “deferred billing—get into a new hardware agreement with great low rates and no payments for 90 days.” We also have seen dealers promoting their remote work software, security solutions, and desktop printers, as some customers have employees that still need to print while working from home. While their message may have changed in response to the pandemic, smart dealers are continuing their marketing efforts to keep their names in front of their target audience to prepare themselves for the other side.