3 min

Right now the only currency we have is relationships

During a crisis like we’re facing – when people are conserving cash and purchasing might be grinding to a halt – your cash flow or bank account might be looking grim. But just because you don’t have as much money coming in as you want (or need) at the moment, it doesn’t mean that your business is a bust or you have no hope.

In reality, you still have something very valuable at your business: your relationships with clients, customers, and partners. And these relationships can be very valuable during these very uncertain times. Here are some ways you can use your relationships to nurture, grow, (or simply save) your business in this new reality.

Talk to your clients and customers

Don’t go radio silent when you’re feeling stressed. Instead, reach out to your clients and customers. Every single one of them. Nurture each relationship by asking: how are you doing? Is there anything our agency can do to help you?

Don’t worry about contracts, money owed, or payments. Instead, focus on the relationship you have with the client and making sure you demonstrate that you care.

Communicating with clients can also be helpful because it can shed some light on what you can expect in the pipeline (will you be losing a lot of clients and potential revenue? Does everyone seem to be doing okay for now?).

Communication is key for keeping relationships strong and visibility clear.

Consider changing payment terms or offering discounts

You still want to bring in some revenue even when business is slow. So, consider extending offers to your current clients that make spending easier for them.

You may change payment terms for some customers, so they’re able to pay over a longer period of time or in different divisions.

Alternatively, offer loyal customers discounts on things they normally buy, with the understanding that every business feels strained financially. A good discount to offer is for advance payment: if they are able to get you some cash right now, they can have your services for cheaper than normal. This helps out both sides of the transaction.

Utilise kindness

A good way to nurture client relationships is to do something simple and kind to show them you care.

Perhaps you want to send each client a gift code to download an audiobook during the quarantine, or a hamper of goods and sweets that they can enjoy when they can’t go to the market to shop.

Sending something thoughtful to clients without asking anything concrete in return is a key way to keep loyalty strong.

Try to build new relationships

Even if you can’t get many new paying clients during this time, you may be able to get on the radar of new potential customers and build new relationships.

Ask current customers or clients to write reviews about you on social media and review sites like Yelp, Google, etc. New potential customers may discover you during internet searches and either; reach out, or make a note to reach out when they’re able to spend again.

You can even offer people who leave reviews about your site rewards or loyalty points for doing so; so that they feel incentivized to do a little marketing for you, and they feel like you appreciate the business connection you have with them.

Money may be tight at your business right now, but that doesn’t mean that you are lacking in things that have value. In reality, the relationships you have built with clients and customers are currency themselves, and by taking care of them, you can use them to keep your business afloat, just like other types of currency would.