Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste- Winston Churchill -
Waking up choking on your own bile as you scramble to grab for anything to ease the intense pain of the volcanic lava eating a hole through your throat - like a rabid rat perpetually gnawing away at a piece of cheese - was the catalyst for the invention of Gaviscon. The antacid mixture which, to be honest, tastes like old breast milk (assumption) and looks like watered down chalk has saved millions of us from quitting eating and drinking our favourite foods and wines.
This is an example of just how a particular “crisis” (and to those who suffer from reflux; it really is a crises), provided an opportunity to GlaxoSmithKline to develop a multibillion dollar liquid that prevents and eases acid-related pain.
Probably not what the WW2 Prime Minister of England had in mind when he used the phrase; “never let a good crises go to waste”… although I suspect, had Gaviscon been around he would’ve been consumer no. 1.
However, my point is that when there is a crisis we need to face up to its existence, and then see where opportunities present themselves.
Covid-19 has been a bitch, but it has also forced change, which leads to opportunity.
Whether you’re a Forensic Investigator (yours truly) a Manager of a manufacturing plant, a retail outlet Owner, a Doctor, etc., new ways of delivering and adding services are there. The importance of now finding and then marketing these during a crisis is critical.
Thinking outside of the box
I have found that with a fair amount of agile thinking and a three-step backwards approach of analysis, there are now new investigation needs that did not exist six months ago. For example, the massive increase of fake sick notes that are currently being produced by employees has provided my investigation department with the opportunity to conduct Sick Note Fraud Investigations. Granted, we always have investigated suspected fraudulent sick notes, but certainly not to this extent; meaning we now have a dedicated Investigator employed almost entirely to handle Fraudulent Sick Note Investigations.
Likewise, the increase of people now working from home has meant that those with a less than ideal work ethic are often found not doing what they are in fact paid to do. So, I now have a team of Surveillance and Social Media Operatives gathering evidence for clients on cases of moonlighting and other nefarious activities detrimental to the business.
Yes, I am seeing these opportunities from a business investigation perspective and yes my Investigation services have grown due to the needs of my clients, but I have also learnt of many other examples where B2B companies are using the momentum of Covid-19 to grow by re-positioning their services and products.
Here are a few of the ideas I’ve come across that may help you to adapt your marketing strategies.
Identify the areas of B2B spending upsurgeDon’t believe for one second there is no business going on. However, much of that business is shifting to other silos. I have noted that many of my clients and their clients have started spending on longer term priorities. They are moving away from quick buys or service agreements to longer objectives., meaning that you need to consider what your prospects/clients are spending money on right now because they have to, not because they necessarily want to.
Many are spending “defensively” to ensure business continuity, focusing on safeguarding systems, protection of people, securing information and providing infrastructure for offsite working. The trick is to identify where you fit in. What can you do to attract those types of spenders to your space?
Non-essential spending is obviously on everybody’s mind and is the guiding principle right now for finances - but through some agile thinking and many hard think-tanks, you will find ways to become essential yourself. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s a challenge - but hell it’s worth it.
My tip here is to find the new ‘Pain Points’ and then make sure your marketing strategy and your selling techniques adjust and promote these. Don’t create a service or product and then try sell it, rather find the need, and provide what will meet it.
Offer a free trialNo one likes giving things away or doing things for free, but in unprecedented times you need unprecedented approaches. Don’t think of free trial for say three months as losing out. See it as a strategic strategy to demonstrate how bloody good your services or products are (and if you don’t believe you are that good, you’re screwed anyway).
Giving people access to your solution is the perfect way to show them how much they would miss you if they did not have you. (Pretty much how I miss Brandy when Cyril’s boss says no drinking) you get my point.
I’ll use my own example of Undercover Investigations. As you probably know, my company supplies specialist Undercover Agents that are deployed at company’s around the country. Now these Undercover Agents report to us on all criminal and nefarious activities taking place within the workplace. Matters such as theft, fraud, dishonesty, corruption, workplace violence, etc. are all covered and reported on discreetly by our Undercover Operatives.
As Covid-19 has put so much financial pressure on people it has created a serious situation, a spinoff of type. More theft, more fraud. We have identified the pain points and have decided to offer a one-month free trial to companies that are feeling the effect of theft and fraud but have never used undercover investigation techniques before.
So yes - I give up one month of billing... but once our Undercover Agent’s reports are read and our professional skills are experienced firsthand, we have a 87% conversion rate… shit, that’s a return I’m happy to run with every time.
Stop whining and seek those new opportunities ...
... because if you don’t, somebody else will.
I’m pretty much convinced that every one of you who reads these blogs has a better understanding of business than I do. I am a born and bred Investigator, certainly no Napoleon’s Hill or Sun Tzu, but if I can (with help from others) create new opportunities then so can you!
Until we chat again, keep safe, keep warm, and keep thinking.