Promoted by Suncorp
As a broker, COVID-19 should prompt you to truly understand your small business customers. After all, that knowledge could turn around someone’s livelihood.
As COVID-19 continues to reshape life as we know it, brokers can play a crucial role in helping small business customers navigate the challenges and the opportunities that may come their way. Let’s face it, giving your customers the means to adapt to change –and quickly – can be critical to their ongoing survival and long-term success.
Taking the time to talk
But it can’t happen without effective communication. More than ever, brokers need to take the time to understand a customer’s current reality – to find out how their business is positioned in today’s market; the extent to which COVID is affecting their fortunes; and what they are doing, or hoping to do, to meet these challenges, or opportunities, head-on.
It is only through these in-depth conversations that you can hope to respond to your customers’ evolving circumstances, at a time when they need you most.
Rising to the challenge
Of course, a face-to-face conversation is something of a luxury these days. Yet that doesn’t mean you have to forego the closeness this brings; many brokers are finding innovative ways to overcome this challenge. And ultimately – however you choose to connect with your customers – it’s about having the conversations that really matter to them, so you can help provide the solutions that will potentially turn around their lives.
Nailing the basics
Your priority is getting to know all about a customer’s business – their products or services, their customers, how they’re positioned in the market. The following questions will give you a better idea:
Show me the money
Next, you need to be confident you understand exactly how your customer’s business is bringing in money – and to what extent that’s been undermined by COVID-19.
For instance, you could ask:
Paying the bills
But, of course, none of this matters if your customer’s expenses are spiralling out of control. Understanding their fixed and variable costs – and how flexible these might be – will give you a better idea of just how precarious their cash flow is.
Here are some questions that might provide important insights:
The bigger picture
It’s also important to understand how things may stand over the longer term. Fixing your customer’s cash flow woes can only go so far if they face other external threats.
So try these questions:
A glimpse of the future
It’s hard to help someone if you don’t know anything about their vision – where they hope to take the business from here. Getting to understand this will take several important questions:
Knowing the person behind the business
Just as important, however, is understanding the person behind the business. That means you need to put this conversation within the context of who your customer is. If you don’t know already, find out what motivates them, who or what is important or special to them, and what keeps them up at night.
It is only then that you can hope to gain the understanding and trust you need to help your customer on the next critical steps of their business journey.
For more information on what you need to be talking to your small business customers about right now and how we can help, speak to your Suncorp Small Business and Commercial BDM.
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