On a coaching call last week, a client lamented, “Stu, I just can’t get ahold of anyone. I’m making my calls, following up with emails, and DMing on LinkedIn. What am I doing wrong?” I paused, sighed, and responded, “Nothing. Things are just different than they were before—we’re in a state of flux and we’ll have to adapt. You ARE doing all the right things.”
Honestly, we all could have seen it coming—the deluge of alerts, notifications, emails, texts, calls, voicemails, DM’s. Forms of communication (especially social media) have proliferated over the past decade or so, and we’ve heard countless times that it was “overload,” “too much”—that we were too plugged in, turned on, and staring into yet another screen. But we pressed onward.
COVID-19 would change this. After months of isolation with only our technology for regular interaction, returning to a more typical form of business has hit nearly all of us in a resoundingly different way. We’ve finally realized just how overloaded with constant communication we’ve all been.
And our clients are noticing. Cold calls are not being received as warmly as before. DM’s go unanswered, and the effort feels more frustrating than it has in the past. And while some businesses are THRIVING thanks to this new evolving market, some aren’t.
What does a business experiencing low growth tell its weary business development staff or marketing people when, more often than not, they are turned away or completely ignored?
Be patient. It’s hard to be patient—especially after the past two years. But the fact remains we don’t know what’s coming and where things will land because we are in uncharted post-pandemic territory. Accept that things are different, out of our control, and keep on keeping on.
Consider how much value you’re offering. With many folks working from home, and with less accountability from supervisors at the office, the focus shifts, at times, from “what is good for my company” to “what is good for me.” Consider how your LinkedIn message can be phrased to emphasize the VALUE you’re offering to your prospect—not just to their business.
Keep better records. Being in a state of flux can be frustrating but can also be a time of breakthroughs and discoveries—now more than ever is the time to document your forms of outreach (how many calls/DMs/emails, how often, to whom, at what frequency, in what order) and their outcomes. Records over time will create a narrative you can follow and optimize as the post-Covid landscape changes and eventually stabilizes.