Lost revenue, lost labor, and a new economy to try and survive in—this is what the Covid-19 pandemic has given to businesses of all levels.
As marketers, we need to be understanding of the current climate and the delicate situations that our clients might find themselves in. If a client that you value your relationship with finds their business financially struggling, you don’t have to sit by and wait for them to walk away.
Here are three things that almost any agency owner should be able to do to lend a hand.
Introduce them to helpful members of your network.
As a business owner, you should have a robust network of connections that you can rely on for special projects or referrals. In your client’s time of need, it might be worth introducing them to a few members of your circle—or at least a mutual LinkedIn connection or two.
Strong relationships are essential in the growth and longevity of any company—it pays to take care of your network from time to time. If you can create a positive connection between your client and a member of your network, you could stand to build a stronger connection with both of them with very little effort on your part.
Say, for example, that you’ve passed your client on to a PR partner that you work closely with (I use this example because I’ve done it several times). Your PR partner will look kindly on you for the extra business and your client is likely to stick around longer because you’ve proven to be a helpful asset to their business beyond the scope of your campaign.
Extend a generous temporary discount.
If you see long-term potential with the client and they’re one that you enjoy working with, cut them a deal for the moment and give them a discounted rate.
A lot of businesses are still struggling right now as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic—the manufacturing and hospitality industries are at the top of the most affected list. If you have other clients who are paying enough that you can afford to give one client a temporary discount, there’s no reason not to slash your struggling client’s rate for a month or two until things turn around. You’re a marketer, after all—you should be able to work your magic on their business and increase sales to the point where they’ll be financially stable again in no time.
However, when I say “temporary,” I mean temporary. And make that clear from the outset of this agreement by clearly stating the length and terms of the offer. If you’re giving them a discounted month, make sure it’s no more and no less than a month. You do not want clients getting the idea that they’re being given a new, lower rate.
But what if they just take the discounted rate and then leave once the price goes back up? What I usually do is add an addendum that states for every month that’s discounted, another month is added on to the end of their contract. Remember, just because you’re doing someone a favor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t financially protect your own interests, too.
Tip them off about some best practices they might not know about.