What does it sound like?
“I’m applying for PPP (EIDL).”
Where does it typically show up?
Prospecting Call: making contact with a lead for the first time.
What do we do with it?
Turn around. Key Objective: to turn around the objection, engage the lead further, and continue to guide the lead through the sales process to ultimately close and fund!
How do we turn it around?
“Great, what are you planning on doing with the funding when it gets approved?”
Why do we say it?
This latest round of the government’s Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), to assist and save many of our small businesses through this pandemic, has been operational and open since January. Many SMBs have applied and are still applying for much needed funds.
The lockdowns, closures, infections, etc. small businesses have had to face are still sharply disrupting revenues and operations as well as flat-out putting many of them out of business.
Many businesses have put these programs to work to save themselves from sinking, others used the funding to stem the tide during the lockdowns and are now back in full swing as many local economies are recovering. Some SMBs got the funding and they’re still not going to make it.
Many businesses got funded and have all the capital they’ll need to execute every objective they’ve laid out for the next several months, possibly quarters. But many businesses have also been funded by these programs, and its not enough. They will still need their Funding Pro now or in the wings because the business still does not have enough cash to achieve every outcome or solve every problem that needs solving.
Some merchants are so focused on getting back to where they were before the pandemic, they don’t know they’ll need their Trusted Advisor yet.
And while these programs have worked great for many, there are still rules and limitations on how the funding can be used in order to be eligible for forgiveness. This is an ever-evolving process.
Furthermore, the merchant is applying – has not been approved yet.
Where in the application process are they?
Who is assisting them with the application?
Which bank/company are they applying with?
On this latest round, the application/approval process has deliberately been slowed down to better prevent fraud. And just because they are applying, it doesn’t mean they will be approved.
According to the SBA, the average national approval rate for the first two rounds of PPP was about 75% – but its still not 100%. There are also scores of SMBs that started the application, got stuck due to a lack of documentation or guidance and never finished the application process.
Don’t stop the conversation, continue it by getting the merchant to tell you what they’re working on (and how you can possibly assist).
How do they intend on using their PPP/EIDL?
Were they approved for prior rounds?
How much are they ideally looking for?
What are they projecting for the next several weeks/months?
What current problems are they working to solve?
What new challenges has the pandemic presented?
What new opportunities has the pandemic created?
Staying in touch through the application process will be key until they get approved. If approved and funded, great. Keep high touch, set a great follow up time for future projects and funding needs. If declined by the SBA, this is your cue to assist now.
Every business uses capital constructively for whatever its achieving 24×365. Serve prospective clients by asking strategic questions about present and future projects, and stay in front of them to be the one to advise them at crucial time-points.
Always Be Building Pipeline!