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Best Practices in this Medical Emergency for Business Growth


Alan Weiss
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Some ideas not just to sustain, but to grow your business, during the restrictions caused by the coronavirus:

• Reach out by phone to every buyer and ask what help you can provide. Don't talk about projects or fees or anything other than, "How can I best help you?"

• Suggest to business and trade publications articles on remote client service and support.

• Set up a "hot line" phone or email protocol where clients can call or write you for quick advice with a guarantee response time during business hours.

• Ask local clients if they would like to meet to discuss special needs.

• Offer to host an informal meeting of local buyers and prospects to discuss business contingency plans.

• Advertise and provide a teleconference, podcast, or video for free on conducting business in these times.

• If you have livestream capability or can get it, start offering both free and paid livestream sessions.

• If you are a speaker, offer livestream substitution for your appearance at events that are being otherwise cancelled.

• Use what colleges are now using, which are online courses for your workshops.

• Share best practices from your professional community with clients and prospects.

• Begin a regular five minute "report" by video or podcast every week at the same time.

• Go to work on the book, or video series, or new IP that you've never quite been able to get to.

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Thanks Alan, this is great.

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Great list, Alan, I am providing a free Zoom videocast on Monday for small and mid-size businesses on dealing with what to do right now, over the next month, and then into a recovery mode. Sent it out to my list and started getting registrations within 3 minutes. Your list offers great ideas about using this as a platform to more IP. Thanks.

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I'm using Alan's advice above to get some webcasts out. I've had plenty of content for remote work floating around in my head for years and now is the perfect time to get it out there. I hope to pick up some clients through those activities. 

I'm a bit nervous about new business generation at this point. I've been seeding the pipeline with connections and initial phone calls, but I haven't gotten to any kind of discussion around needs or OMV. What is the likelihood of signing a 5-figure contract with someone never having physically met them? 

(Is this the new "board" mentioned in another thread to discuss our practices and business development in light of the current environment? If not, please let me know where to move this post.)

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I just spoke to a coaching client, who was supposed to meet with her boss next week to discuss a promotion. 
 

I told her to throw away all of her notes and talking points and to focus only on what she and her team can do to help the organization thrive in this situation. That will get her promoted after this, not talking about all the things she accomplished in what is now a prior life. 
 

I am going to put together a series of articles that offers suggestions like this for how people can best use this time to help their organizations and themselves. 

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Douglas Squirrel

@MarkTravis I closed a £60K ($75K) deal last week mainly over zoom as the client was travelling in the US. We "sealed the deal" over breakfast in person once she returned, but that was mainly a formality. Key element was building trust with social proof (I was referred in glowing terms) and relevant, peer-level interaction. See "Relating to Senior People" in Alan's Growth Access if you are in there.

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1 minute ago, Douglas Squirrel said:

@MarkTravis I closed a £60K ($75K) deal last week mainly over zoom as the client was travelling in the US. We "sealed the deal" over breakfast in person once she returned, but that was mainly a formality. Key element was building trust with social proof (I was referred in glowing terms) and relevant, peer-level interaction. See "Relating to Senior People" in Alan's Growth Access if you are in there.

Thanks Doug! I will go find that AGA program now. 

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Roberta Matuson

Thanks @Alan Weiss  just received notice from the WSJ that a special report on this topic is now available for download. The article that I’m quoted in, is part of the report. 

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Do check out Growth Access, as Doug does so well, for additional help. In another week or two we're introducing a new format enabling easier searches by category.

Mark, yes, this is the place.

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Stephen Wise
2 hours ago, Roberta Matuson said:

I'm providing my expertise on this topic to readers of the WSJ. Quoted in this piece on The Coronavirus and Your Job: What the Boss Can—and Can’t—Make You Do, and delighted to add that I also got the last word in!

thanks for sharing your WSJ work @Roberta Matuson. awesome.

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Trump specifically mentioned "tele health" in his emergency speech today, so that should give @Christian Milaster and, I think, @judychan a boost.

Also, they just closed all IL schools for the rest of the month, just like a lot of other states.  So, I think a webinar on working from home might also be valuable with a section on how to work productively when your children are around.

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Hamish Mackenzie
11 hours ago, Alan Weiss said:

In another week or two we're introducing a new format enabling easier searches by category.

This is great news, looking forward to that!

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Listen up. 

This morning I wrote a piece on how to work at home, using bullet points. I put it on Linkedin and maybe one of my blogs, and also sent it to the guy who runs Expertclick.com. I don't know if this link works, but now I'm in the New York Timeshttps://www.expertclick.com/NewsRelease/Today-in-the-NYT-Working-at-Home-SelfIsolation-Doesnt-Have-to-Be-Lonely,2020229142.aspx

I'm not an expert on working at home, per se, but apparently I know enough about it. The piece took me less than ten minutes to write.

 

Working from Home

 

• Set up a schedule, allowing for breaks and lunch. Tell your family. Act as if you’re “going to the office.”

 

• Dress decently. You’ll feel better about yourself. Clean up, as if you were meeting people personally.

 

• Close the door if you have one. Arrange a “do not disturb” with your kids. I like to keep the dogs with me. 

 

• Don’t turn on TV for any updates. Don’t surf the web. Don’t respond to personal emails. 

 

• Make a list of three priorities to accomplish. Focus on those. If you accomplish them before “quitting” for the day, choose other issues to work on

 

• “Chunk” thinks, like writing or recording. Don’t work on any one thing for more than about 45 minutes. 

 

• Don’t schedule “back-to-back” calls or Zoom or Skype meetings.

 

• Remove distractions from the room: musical instruments, screen savers with photos should be disabled, crossword puzzles, and so forth.

 

• Alternate between active (making calls, writing) and passive  (ideating about future offerings, creating intellectual property).

 

• No music. It’s actually a distraction.

 

• Don’t multi-task or you’ll do three things poorly at once.

 

• Don’t plan a full day. Counterintuitively, knock off around three if your three priorities are accomplished (or if your employer permits if you’re working for someone else).

 

• Go outside during your lunch break. Don’t eat at your desk. Get some fresh air.

 

• Explain to callers you’re working at home if need be (extraneous noise, dogs on camera).

 

• Invest in excellent cameras and microphones.

 

• Have an empty real and virtual desktop at the end of your day. Don’t allow clutter or disorganization. When you “show up” for work, your physical desk should be clean and your virtual desk include only email that came in overnight.

 

• Use snacks and energy drinks during the day, not junk food.

 

• Soon after you begin, set expectations for your family so that they can be supportive.

 

• If you’re alone, be prepared to respond to UPS, Fedex, and other deliveries. Try to create “no signature required.” 

 

• Postpone virtual socializing until the end of the day.

 

For my free livestream on Sustaining and Growing Business in Crisis Times, use this address at 11 am US Eastern time on March 26: https://livestream.com/accounts/21314230/events/9036953  Absolutely free and access later via recording.

 

 

© Alan Weiss 2020

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Thank you Alan! This is super helpful.

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Alan, thanks for this. Very relevant!

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Our team helped Lisa Miller act rapidly this week to create a forum just like this one for her healthcare clients. Once again, @Alan Weiss you've proven how valuable having a place like this for your clients really is.  

Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 3.28.12 PM.png

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Becky Morgan
1 hour ago, Alan Weiss said:

Here is a superb video from one of my KAATN clients, Shama Hyder, the founder of Zen Media. This is what we can be doing, though I've seen few peoplel as terrific as she is in front of a camera. This is a "draft" with improvements to come.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bXhGPjy7oM

Video is private so none of us can watch it

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I received this inquiry today, and below that is my response. I've coached over 40 people this week.

 

Hi Alan,
 
I have a client who is furloughing employees and is cutting salaries across the board. They have also  asked me to reduce my fees by 15% for 8 weeks.
 
They pay me $10k/mo on retainer.
 
They are a great client and I would be happy to help them during this time, but I'm wondering if I can present some options for their consideration. For example:
  • 10% reduction for 8 weeks (the 5% difference seems too small to push back)
  • Accept -15% for 8 weeks in exchange for 3 referrals
  • Invite 10-15 high-level people to one of my webinars
Thoughts?
 
My response:
 
“Of course I will. And I’m looking forward to continuing to partner with you when we’ve reached better times.”
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