Clients and contracts cancelled because of Coronavirus? Here’s what to do next
Right now, many freelancers and small businesses are facing a similar problem: clients and customers are cancelling. So what can you do?
It’s easy, and understandable, to panic when your inbox is full of email that start with “I’m sorry but…”, and collectively add up to a significant impact on your bottom line. Or wipe it out completely.
But is there anything you can do? While none of us can change the general market conditions created by the Coronavirus pandemic, there are always things we can individually do to try to protect out business, and make the best out of a bad situation.
And who knows, the innovations you’re forced to come up with now, may create new income streams or a more robust business that thrives even more after the Coronavirus has ended and things returned to normal again.
So, here are 10 things you can do if you clients or customers cancel on you, from events expert Ashanti Bentil-Dhue.
1) Remain calm and focused
This is key to survival right now. You need clarity to decide EXACTLY HOW to adjust, pivot or change according to the circumstances you now find yourself in. Everyone’s goals and needs will be different. Don’t get distracted by looking at others and what they are doing. Set a goal and work towards it.
2) Forget the need to look, sound and be perfect
Striving for perfection in a moment like this will waste valuable time. I’m not encouraging you to deliver shoddy work. I am telling you to act quickly and show up for your clients or customers.
Pick up the phone. Send those emails. And please please use video to communicate as much as possible. Whether it is recorded or live – use video. Whats app, Facebook Video, Zoom, Skype and Google Hangout are all FREE.
Comb your hair and press ‘RECORD’, ‘LIVE’ or ‘CALL’. You might not get it right the first time but done is better than perfect.
3) Start where you are now
Is there a service or product you currently sell which you can create a digital, online or virtual version of? If so make the transition. Look at free tools and platforms you can use to sell. Social media platforms are free.
Can you offer a class online? Can you sell an online course? Can you deliver 1:1 sessions online or over the phone? You could use a Facebook group or page to stream.
You could use zoom, google hangouts, skype, whatsapp video or facebook calls for free to deliver your service on a laptop, tablet or phone. All you need is WIFI (and minutes if you only have a phone).
4) Sell something your customers want and need
Ask your customers, clients and audience what they need right now. What is keeping them up at night? What are the current burning issues? What problems need immediate attention? Listen and listen again.
Now is not the time to try and sell what they don’t need or want. Create solutions to their problems. Add value, be helpful and stay relevant right now in the eyes of your customers and clients.
5) Rely on your natural strengths and skills
What can you do really well without thinking about it? What natural resources, skills and talents do you have? Create an offer or service based on those.
The selling process will be much more enjoyable if you sell what you know really well. Don’t underestimate or dismiss the value of your natural skill or talent. Unusual times calls for unusual skills.
6) Keep it simple
Do not waste time building complicated funnels, landing pages or websites. Sorry. Unless you have the time to build a whole new website or funnel, your time is best used connecting with clients and customers and delivering your service or product.
Use simple tools or platforms to deliver your service or product (email, phone, video, calendly, google calendar etc). Less steps, less friction, less clicking makes it easier for people to buy from you.
7) Make it easy for people to buy
This is a biggie. Use a straightforward and trusted payment service (for example, Stripe or PayPal).
8) Think local
Yes you can technically reach the world online. But don’t forget local apps, places, groups, notice boards and spaces. Often there are potential customers sitting right under our noses if only we seek and find.
Local community, connection and company are starting to come back strong right now, so don’t miss those opportunities.
Unfortunately in times like this people tend to be selfish. Do not buy into scarcity mindset. Even if you ‘win’ in the short term, you will be isolated in the long term.
Working with others is always better in the long run. There is enough business out there for everyone. Stay connected with your peers and support others (this is also far healthier for your mental wellbeing).
10) Be kind to yourself and others
These are testing times and everyone is under pressure, worried and anxious. Rest when you can. Give others a little breathing space if they need it.
Need to transition your services online? Ashanti Bentil-Dhue helps event professionals create action based income plans via 1:1 coaching and workshops for just £99.
Photo by Anthony Tran