Business Development During the Pandemic; How MKP is Staying in the Game
By Melissa Chefec, Business Development Manager
At MKP communications inc., a company providing marketing communications services to banks and other financial companies, new business development has been a priority since its founding in 1994. We know that referrals are gold and that our company reputation has been the backbone to much of our success over the years. We also recognize that a systematic, organized and relentless effort at fueling a pipeline of bank marketing prospects is key to the longevity of our company. And now we have the pandemic to work around to keep the pipeline filled and flowing. We’ve adjusted to new strategies and modified some tried and true ones as well to stay active right now.
We have found that the biggest challenge to new business development during the pandemic is that fewer bank marketers are picking up their phones and answering emails. Most are working from home offices and their worlds have been turned upside down. Some have kids at home and are trying to manage their work and their families at the same time and that’s difficult. Moreover, answering “sales” calls is a low priority now and, in some cases, they don’t have the authority to engage with a new marketing resource without oversight from their managers.
What has been tried and true for MKP’s new business development efforts over the years remains intact. We continue to have weekly meetings to identify and discuss existing and new prospecting opportunities. We remain dedicated to reading the bank trade journals to keep up on new programs and news from banks. We are regularly brainstorming new ways to reach bank marketers to introduce ourselves and the communications services MKP provides.
5 Tips for Prospecting During the Pandemic
- Remain persistent, diligent and consistent in outreach efforts.
Though there are unique challenges to reaching prospects during the pandemic, it’s important to stick with it. Firstly, we are very much open for business and need to continue to generate new business opportunities now. Secondly, the pandemic will end at some point and it’s important to always be fueling the pipeline and looking ahead.
- Use all the channels available to build recognition and remind potential clients.
We have amped up our social media and blogging efforts at MKP to communicate and reach prospects this way. We have found that these channels offer us an opportunity to share our smarts and to illustrate our expertise as thought leaders in bank marketing.
- Strive for the right balance.
The dance between being in touch with prospects and going overboard is not new. What is new during the pandemic is that outreach is more personal because we are reaching people in their home offices. Somehow this feels different. At MKP, we have dramatically slowed our phone prospecting efforts in favor of email as a more respectful way to reach prospects.
- Use smart tools.
All smart new business development efforts necessitate tools and technologies to stay organized and mindful, and during the pandemic this is even more important. Since we are socially distanced from our own colleagues as well as prospects, it is essential that we keep clean and comprehensive records of our prospecting efforts to make sure we are working respectfully and productively.
- Don’t take it personally.
New business development is always challenging and salespeople all know that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. At MKP, we know not to take it personally that prospects aren’t as responsive right now and we trust that our consistent new business development efforts will pay off in the long run.
Our work with bank clients is strong and functioning well, even with the pandemic and corresponding social distancing. Likewise, our new business development efforts remain proactive, albeit with adjustments. We know that to outlive the pandemic and come out solid at the other end we must “stay in the game” right now, even with the unique challenges we’re all facing.
MKP communications inc. is a New York City-based communications company that delivers spot-on strategy, smart, fresh creative, and flawless execution, exclusively for financial services clients.