When to use it?
After a merchant has put the deal on hold because Covid (or any other unforeseen crisis) hit, the Approval has aged, and you have now got a hold of them again.
What does it sound like?
“I know this is a crazy time right now and I want to be sensitive to your needs. In reaching out now, I wanted to see how you’re doing and what I could do to help. Can the funding we had been working on securing before the pandemic (insert any crisis) still help you continue through this crisis?”
How it works?
Many deals went on hold mid-to-late March of ’20 because of Covid’s accelerating infections and the associated mandates and lockdowns that ensued.
Some deals went on hold because funding sources decided to freeze or pull approvals. Other deals went on hold because merchants prudently pressed pause on many decisions that would have been appropriate if things had been business as usual, but due to the pandemic, had to be re-evaluated.
The pandemic forced most businesses to make some big adjustments in a short time to adapt to the new environment and continue operating at some capacity. Other businesses could not make a pivot for many reasons and had to shut down operations indefinitely.
From March to now, many SMBs have either pivoted, adapted or closed for good. Merchants’ decision-making frameworks are definitely very different now than they were in early March, when the economy had been still kicking on full cylinders, and there was no real perceptible threat of pandemics, lockdowns, massive unemployment, social unrest, contested elections and whatever other crisis 2020 wants to throw at us.
Many reps right now are falling into either being too overly anxious about how they’re being perceived during this crisis, and that’s causing their call reluctance, or they are charging ahead being overly pushy.
You want to get to the heart of how merchants are feeling now:
Why are prospects funding or not funding right now?
What are their current main concerns?
What are their current fears and doubts?
How have their goals changed?
Why it works?
You can either assume it’s not the right time and not call, or you can reach out and validate where the merchant is at now.
The key is to check in and stay in front of your merchants in a helpful way.
There are very real reasons why the merchant put the deal on hold. The pandemic hit everyone in different ways.
You want to use empathy, connect, and really figure out what the merchant’s journey’s been since they had initially been interested in the funding and how they’re evaluating everything now.
“Can the funding we had been working on securing before the pandemic (insert any crisis) still help you continue through this crisis?”
The merchant can now open up and let you know what they need. They may need you to check back in with them at a later point, or they may have their own assumptions about what you can or cannot provide at this time. You won’t know until you ask.
The key is to avoid getting paralyzed by the ongoing crises, and keep moving forward.
Continue to have valuable conversations with merchants. As their Trusted Advisor, continue consulting them in the direction that will help their business the most at this time.
Take out that list of aged Approvals that got derailed by the pandemic months ago and check in. It’s time.
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