The Latest from the ABM Experts
August 31, 2020
How Should You Adjust to COVID-19? By Helping
Written by Sangram Vajre
Helping is the new selling.
If you haven’t heard me say it a dozen times already, you will.
We are all facing the same crisis. Everybody.
If you want to market — or do anything — in a world turned upside down, you have to help others first.
Pick up the phone
Brooke: I would love if my team was on the phone — at least my account managers —almost all day every day, because calling gives that sense of camaraderie, collaboration.
“We preach getting on the phone as much as possible.” — Brooke Beach
Things get so lost in translation with email. It’s really powerful, but tone is missing. Ideas are missing.
We’ve got some clients where they’re definitely not used to the phone call. And then here we are calling and it takes a couple of weeks to get them comfortable with the fact that that’s just a part of our process.
Then they love it and then we have to say to them, “Please don’t call us at 10 o’clock at night, but I love you. And I think you’re amazing.”
Why helping is the new selling
Brooke: We’ve actually had teams who either had to downsize or take pay cuts and we’ve stayed the same. We’ve stayed with them.
I think one of the reasons is because we build such strong relationships.
I’ve been to baby showers for clients and weddings, and we’ve gone to adventure days with them like we are their team.
Helping them feels natural.
When you have a connection, it’s not a decision to make. It just feels organic. And you figure out other ways to help because the better they do, the better we do — and the deeper that relationship gets.
I think what I’m seeing too — which I really like —is a movement back towards relationships, when it used to be a little bit more sales, outreach, and ”let’s see how many cold calls we can do.
“Helping is just a part of a relationship. And it should also be a part of the relationships within business.”
We lost some of that human connection. And I think that that’s coming back on the agency side. It is unbelievably important.
Brooke: You start realizing, by helping, you can experiment more.
For instance, one of my favorite things to do is be super transparent with a client and say, “Okay, we have this new idea, I have no idea if it’s going to work out, can we test it on you? We’re not gonna charge you.”
And I think that they really appreciate that.
We also don’t want to have to always experiment with our clients budget. But, at the same time, I want to encourage our team to experiment as much as possible.
So we actually give every single account manager $1500 per client of our money for them to just go play and figure out their client — figure out some another channel that isn’t in our scope, that could actually be a value to them.
The team needs to have the resources to go and test, build, be creative and grow.
And they’re not ever going to feel empowered if they have to go back to the client and ask for money to try something.
This has been a huge success for us because now all of our account managers feel empowered and are really excited to go find new channels that could help the client.
Embrace the chaos
If you aren’t used to helping first, selling second… that’s OK. We all have to do things differently in the new normal.
And that means embracing the chaos.
We are all in need of two things to make it through this, together.
Help and hope.