Last week, we hosted our “Pivot, Don’t Panic” call. On this, various industry experts spoke about how businesses can pivot their strategy during times of crisis. One of those speakers was Dawn Crossingham, an award-winning business advisor and founder of the D52 Business Toolkit.
Below, Dawn shares her insights on how affiliates and operators can change their thinking during what right now are uncertain days…
When in “panic mode”, our brains have no room to function – let alone be creative and innovative. Therefore, the best action you can take is to feel the fear. Don’t run away from it – face it.
By facing our fears, we free our minds and can ‘dump the junk©’ holding us back. Fear is the brain’s natural reaction to threat, but can paralyse us and stop us from taking action.
Time and time again, I have been called upon to support the business community in managing and overcoming the current economic climate. The biggest hurdle to so many people is their mindset and the panic reaction, rather than a measured response.
Practically, my advice is to write down your:
Engage emotionally, regardless of whether the issue is personal or business-related. Cry, go for a run, sing, scream, punch a pillow, rant to somebody. Release the tension. Only once you’ve done this can you tap into your creative and innovative abilities.
My own experience has taught me that panic is often our in-built reaction to change imposed on us, rather than by our own design.
The good news is that as affiliate marketing entrepreneurs and digital business owners, you are equipped to handle change. You already deal with it on a daily basis, from supplier delays to technological failures, staff absences and fluctuating trends. But each time, you adopt a solution-focused attitude and strive to keep your customers happy at all times.
Change is the only constant and by adapting to it, you will both survive and learn how to thrive in a new environment.
While conventional ways of problem-solving will serve you well, you need to return to business basics often forgotten during trying times.
Ultimately, you need to give people what they want and need.
Initially, this is not a product or service. It’s transparent communication. Our customers want to engage with us, the founders, to see the face behind the noise and that personalities amongst our mostly-faceless society.
When you have listened to feedback, ideas and criticism in the past, you have adapted to meet these needs. Now is no different. People still crave a connection. And in this self-isolated world, they want it more than ever.
Try and listen more than you speak
It’s an interesting exercise to identify what you really know about your customers. Are you meeting their current needs and are you *really* interested?
If you answered yes to these questions, then I urge you to communicate. I advocate this practice to my clients, but with a word of caution. Be real, vulnerable and genuinely interested in your customer.
Your clients, affiliates and customers will see through any slick sales video and be indignant at your lack of engagement with them in their current pain.
Be prepared to be vulnerable, by asking questions directly and ideally through a live link-up. Now is not the time for hiding behind your business or indeed your staff. Instead, LEAD. Step out of your comfort zone and be the face of your business. Build your personal and business brands.
The difference between a leader and manager is that the latter is happy with managing the status quo. A leader, meanwhile is willing to adapt, be innovative and take the vision of the business and momentum forward. Leaders inspire their staff and give value to customers.
What next? Don’t panic. PIVOT.
- Acknowledge your pain points, own the concerns and verbalise the perceived problems.
- Communicate with your customers, suppliers and staff.
- Brainstorm short and long-term solutions.
- Find new ways of working with customers, competitors and suppliers.
- Invest in your business, self-development and staff
- Develop a plan and adapt to change.
You have not lost anything. Instead, you have gained a new perspective. Remember: the only constant in life is change. Those who will thrive once the crisis abates are the ones willing and prepare to adapt.
So listen and adapt, because your future will depend on it.