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May 29, 2020 | Entrepreneurship

With each shift in the recovery roadmap for small businesses, sales and marketing become ever more critical tools.  

A top tip from our Business Advising team — “Don’t stop selling and marketing.”

In a time where building trust is a priority, sales and marketing are key. Tactics and messaging need to adjust to what is meaningful and relevant right now.  The best way to redefine your strategy includes listening to your customers. A plan based on customer needs will create opportunities and experiences where clients feel safe and get value.

Sales and Marketing is part of the Communications section in our Covid-19 Small Business Guide to Relief and Recovery.  The guide provides a broad scope of tips.  You can access more sales and marketing tips along with the entire guide here.

Here, we are diving deeper into a communication plan to best support sales and marketing efforts moving forward.  To define the plan, consider the following:

What type of message? 

  • Timely — include changes, hours of operation, safety measures, new offerings and virtual services
  • Empathetic
  • Customer-centric

How do I spread the word and inspire confidence?

  • Create a unified message.  Consistent messaging helps customers feel comfortable and builds trust.  Once you identify your key messages, meet with staff and make sure everyone is on the same page and sharing the same message.
  • Communicate on key channels your customer uses to engage with you.
      • Website. Utilize your homepage to broadcast your message and plans.
      • Social media channels. Develop a set of posts that align with your message.  If your customer base uses social, you want to have a strong presence and use social media to spread the word.  Frequent and consistent updates on staff, hours, safety protocol and special offers will position you as being active in creating a safe and secure business.
      • Email Marketing. Create an email that highlights your key messages and send it to your subscriber base.  Be consistent and send emails each month with new updates and offers.

Actions are important

Be diligent in ensuring your entire staff follows your protocol and is considerate and empathetic to customer needs.  Customers build trust by seeing you and your staff consistently follow through on the promises made around your safety and health protocols.

How do I manage the changing environment?

  • Frequently review and assess your plan.  During some phases it may mean daily or weekly assessments. Stay informed and as changes happen, evolve your plan to match what customers need.
  • Customer Survey.  Whether it is via email, on the phone or in person, talk to your customers.  Ask them what is important and what they need.  Make this a consistent habit for your staff and collect feedback on a regular basis.  Google and other platforms offer digital surveys which can help you gather useful data.  Keep a survey to 3-5 questions to increase engagement rate.


Taking the time to create a sales and marketing communication plan will create a stronger foundation for your business.  With a few steps and a focus on customer needs, the efforts will go a long way during this time.



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CDC Small Business Finance is a trusted small business lender, award-winning nonprofit and advocate for entrepreneurs. Over more than four decades, we have provided $18 billion in funding to over 11,000 borrowers … and counting. Unlike a traditional lender, we have the flexibility to offer affordable loans to underserved small business owners. Our lending also plays a role in bolstering economic development, and has helped to create or preserve more than 200,000 jobs in California, Arizona and Nevada.


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