Social distancing isn’t going away anytime soon. Even as we start to emerge from COVID-19, things won’t go back to normal right away. Still, your business has to make money. While you can’t rely on the sales and marketing strategies that worked for you a few months ago, David Rodek, a financial copywriter, says you can pursue some new ways to grow in response to COVID-19.

Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today for Rodeck’s thoughts on updating your sales and marketing efforts in this current season of physical distancing.

Embrace digital. Rodeck talked to Donovan Reynolds, a realtor in Atlanta, who has had to rethink his face-to-face business. He says that with the onset of the COVID-19, his company can no longer hold open houses. By going digital, he’s still able to operate. Rodeck reports that Reynolds has moved to running virtual open houses. Using Facebook and Instagram Live, his clients can take people on a virtual tour of their homes. He also creates 3D mapping of the interiors so that prospective buyers never have to step inside. It gives a better sense of space that a regular 2D picture can’t provide.

With video conferencing software like Zoom, Google Meet, FaceTime and Skype, business owners can still schedule virtual “face-to-face” meetings with staff, customers and prospects. At the same time, many customers are staying at home, spending hours online and looking at their phones. This could be a good time to ramp up your digital marketing strategies with social media, published content, Google ads and email campaigns, notes Rodeck.

Find ways to help. Rodeck says that New York City-based event planning service, Tracy Taylor Ward Design, didn’t completely halt her business in the wake of COVID-19. Instead, Tracy Taylor Ward, its proprietor, decided to focus her energy on what these cancellations must mean to her clients. Rodeck notes that Ward decided to help by waiving her usual fee and offering free consultations for those whose events had been cancelled. She reached out to social media influencers to share news about her campaign, and she estimates that this drove a potential reach of more than 29 million social media impressions for her business and helped fill her calendar for the future.

Adapt to new customer needs. Branch specializes in selling premium office furniture, a tough sell when a lot of the country is now working from home, says Rodeck. But this sudden change led to a brand-new opportunity as people working from home may not be using the best equipment. Branch created a new package of furniture for home offices. This meant adjusting their business model. Rather than sticking to their original plans, they quickly adapted to new customer needs so they can keep making sales. Rodeck notes that consumers still have needs—they’re just different from what they were a few months ago. Consumer demand hasn’t completely evaporated—it has only changed.

Deliver virtual classes and events. Classes, conferences and conventions have been shut down around the country, but people still want a chance to network and learn, says Rodeck. That’s why RoadBotics, a Pittsburgh technology startup focused on improving roads and infrastructure, launched their own online series: Remote with RoadBotics. Each week, the company releases six to eight web events for civil engineer and public works professionals. Companies can pivot by helping to fill the knowledge gap with virtual classes or events, educational videos on YouTube and social media, or by publishing thought leadership pieces in industry trade journals. These provide an opportunity to forge and develop a reputation of expertise.

As you explore new opportunities in the social distancing era, you may discover ways to get better at selling when the world starts to emerge from the crisis.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: David Rodeck is a Delaware-based financial copywriter and owner of David Rodeck LLC. He covers insurance, investing and personal finance.