Blog for Building Materials Companies

How Building Materials People Should Use Their Time During Coronavirus

  |  Posted in Coronavirus

How Building Materials People Should Use Their Time During Coronavirus

As we work together through the Coronavirus pandemic, some of us are busier than we’ve ever been. Meanwhile, some of us have so much time on our hands we wonder what to do with it.

We are learning how to work from home. Some companies are providing good leadership and directions. Others are muddling along and leaving it up to each individual to adapt. Either way, you should be thinking of ways to make the best of it.

If you want to use your extra time productively, here are some suggestions that will help you come out ahead of the competition.

1. Clean Up Your Contacts

Whether you use a simple spreadsheet or a sophisticated program like Salesforce or Hubspot, your contact list is probably in desperate need of some housekeeping.

People retire, leave their jobs, move to new companies – that should be reflected in your contacts.

I once took a course in customer service at Zappos. One of the things they said is that they are “Slow to Hire and Quick to Fire.” A lot of us take the opposite approach with our contact lists – we’re “Quick to Add and Slow to Delete.”

Take the time to go through and delete who you need to. Leave only the contacts who are real contacts.

2. Add to Your Contacts

This extra time is a great opportunity to develop additional relationships within your customer organizations and highest priority prospects.

The more people you know in a customer organization, the stronger your position will be.

LinkedIn is a great way to find and connect with these people. Start there.

3. Up Your LinkedIn Game

Speaking of LinkedIn, this should be where your social media game is strongest. It’s the best platform for the business to business side of building materials.

Here are simple steps you can take right now to make better use of LinkedIn:

  1. Clean up your profile page. If you’re not sure how, do a quick Google search. There is lots of great advice about how to do this online.
  2. Participate more. Remember the social part of social media. Spend some time there every day. Read, share and like the things people post, especially your customers. Comment and consider sharing posts of your own.
  3. Beef up your contact list. You should be connected to everyone you know in the industry. If you notice gaps in your contact list, now is a great time to fill them.

4. Learn Something New

You can learn how to meditate, how to play guitar or how to write better emails – I don’t care. As long as you’re taking this gift of time and learning something new, you’re advancing and improving yourself.

5. Opportunity for Marketing

Many marketing people spend their time doing the same things over and over again such as a trade show. Or they spend time on legacy programs like an annual catalog. They frequently have thoughts about how their marketing could be done better. Unfortunately, these ideas are not welcomed. They are viewed as “We don’t have the budget for that” when they should be viewed as “If we shift dollars from the old way, will we get better results?”

In the last two weeks, I have been contacted by a number of marketing people who wanted to pick my brain. They see this as an ideal time to go to management with their better ideas.

If you have a better idea for your marketing, now is the time to step up and be a leader.

Don’t Ignore This Opportunity

Things are slow right now. You might be tempted to take a little time off, and you should probably get a little relaxation in while you can.

But remember that this is temporary. Once we’re done social distancing and self-isolating, things will go back to normal (well, fairly normal anyway).

When it’s time to go back to the office or when your customers are back at theirs, what will things be like for you? Will you be trying to catch up? Or will you already be ahead?

Don’t miss this opportunity to improve. When this is all over, you’ll be glad you did.

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About The Author

I am the leading sales growth consultant in the building materials industry, I identify the blind spots that enable building materials companies to grow their sales and retain more customers.  As I am not an ad agency, my recommendations are focused on your sales growth and not my future income.

My mission is to help building materials companies be the preferred supplier of their customers and to turn those customers into their best salespeople. Contact me to discuss your situation.