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Conversations in Crisis: The New SMB Landscape

We have been asked by a number of companies and organizations to talk about some of the implications and opportunities for businesses as they emerge from this ongoing crisis, so I’ve invited Steve Schuckenbrock, multi-time President and CEO of businesses large and small, to join me for a webcast on how companies can best position themselves to successfully move forward from this crisis.

  • 11:12 – Conducting an Honest Internal Assessment – How you went into the crisis, where you are now, and how you should be positioned for success as the crisis recedes.
    1. Regardless of what you did right or wrong before, be honest with yourself and your organization about the causes and effects of your strategies.
    2. Things that are helping you survive this crisis are all things that would’ve helped you be successful in times of “normal business.”
  • 16:30 – Engaging to Envision the Future – Look to key constituents to help you define your future.
    1. Focus on your mission and purpose, your employees, and customer satisfaction.
    2. What does the competition look like? Where are they innovating? Are you in a position to move from being on defense to being able to take a more offensive approach?
  • 18:45 – Don’t Be Afraid to Be Bold – Go to the radical edges of your thinking in how you use your tools and technology.
    1. Use this period to seize new advantages and opportunities that may not have been apparent before
    2. You have no choice but to engage digitally at this point. Do not stay embedded in the idea that there has to be physical interaction to operate.
    3. Consumers will be the ones to dictate where we go from here.
    4. To cross the bridge, you need to engage your internal and external constituents to help build that bridge so they can also see themselves on the other side.
    5. There is the potential here for a more customized experience.
    6. A crisis is an opportunity for new ideas and new energy.
    7. There won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. The ability to adapt as need will be incredibly valuable. Be ready to step on the gas when you find the practices that work.
  • 27:51 – Preparing to Sustain These Practices – These changes will not be going away, so companies need to be prepared to make them stick.
    1. Empathy will be a big part of learning how to sell again. With proper empathy, taking the time to learn about how people assessed themselves through the crisis will yield new answers.
    2. Be realistic about what changes are here to stay
    3. Understand that there will be tradeoffs. If you stay in the mindset that things will revert back, it will hinder your success to move forward.
  • 31:15 – Q&A
    1. What is the best method of “taking the pulse” of your customers? Is a survey the best option?
      a. We are an “over-surveyed” nation. People can see right through a survey that is just trying to tick a box so the salesperson can get their incentives. Your best option would be a one-on-one conversation, but if you must send out a survey, you need to convey that you genuinely want to hear their point of view.
      b. After this point, make sure that you go back to them with the ways that you are changing your practices based on their feedback. Another pointless survey is not what people need at this time.
      c. Rather than “how did we do?” Ask “what could we have done better?”
    2. Culturally, are there problems created by taking this step into full-remote work?
      a. You can’t make one giant leap. You have to step your way through to an outcome.
      b. Don’t focus on the “in-office” or “out-of-office,” instead focus on understanding what engaging your employees means.
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