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There are times in life and in business when the world throws us a curveball. Our ability to adjust to those curveballs defines who we are and our success. On this episode of Marketing Trends, we talk through how to go about making those adjustments. Sean Sheppard is the Founding Partner of GrowthX and discusses his eight strategies marketers can use to navigate through a crisis, as he sheds some light and hope to anyone who might be struggling.

3 Takeaways:

– Spend as much time as you can on how you can help your customer, maybe in a way you haven’t considered before

– Together we can find ways to make things right for everyone

– It’s not just what you do, it’s how you approach it and the important thing is to keep things positive

Key Quotes:

“Fear is an incredible driver of human behavior — fear, uncertainty, and doubt. And it’s one thing for that to drive someone’s behavior towards you, but it’s another thing when it’s not aligned with your interests.”

“If we really want to engage with customers and understand now more than ever how to help them, we need to give them an opportunity to tell us how. And that can start with their primary concerns and fears and uncertainties and doubts. Engage in a conversation. Don’t just send out another standard email….Focus on your customer, focus on your market, and spend as much time as you can right now really honing in on the current situation and who those people are and how you can help them — and maybe in ways you haven’t done before. I think you’ll stand out if you do.”

“I always talk about market and business acumen and why it’s so important to have a deep understanding of who your customer is, how they’re measured, who their customer is, how they’re measured, and how you can insert yourself to create value in that chain. And I think now more than ever you have an opportunity to create a safe place for people to tell you the truth and give you the time to learn at a deeper level. To learn more about who those people are and what they care about and how you can help them get what they want, or at least keep things stable until you’re asked to help them make changes down the road.”

“If you want to create differentiation, you need to show people things they’ve never seen before. You need to say things to them they’ve never heard. You need to listen to things you never thought you’d hear. You need to teach for differentiation. What can we do right now at this moment to go another level deeper in what we can show and share with our customer base that puts us in a real position of thought leadership? And how can we readjust and change and shift our plans to meet those needs?” 

“It’s okay to reset expectations with everybody on your team right now too. And say, look, I don’t know if we are losing two weeks or two months, but I’m here to tell you that we’re in this for the long run – life is a marathon, not a sprint. And together, we’re going to figure out a way to make it right for everyone. And then live that.”

“Product-market fit can be taken away from you just as easily as it has been awarded to you. And it’s moments like these where that’s the case. So you always have to keep asking yourself, how are we different? What makes us unique right now? And not just in the long run but today.”

“Every company is just a collection of humans beings. And those humans have the same fears and uncertainty and doubts and concerns as the rest of us. They’re going through the same stuff we’re all going through. So if you’re a big company, working in a dynamic with a lot of small businesses, take a leadership position and say, ‘I’m here to help you. What can I do to alleviate your issues?’ And always talk about them first and then reassure them that you’re here and you’re going to be here for the long run.”

“I’m a strong believer in that it’s not how we act, but how we react that matters. This is an opportunity for us to communicate our attitude, which is hopefully positive, because it’s really easy, especially in this age of social media to just get into this downward spiral of negative thoughts and behaviors and words that you’re constantly hearing. That’s a choice. So you can choose to lead through this situation by sharing those attitudes and values, and exercising that through engaging your people and your vendors and your customers and partners. And then hopefully trying to create a closer, tighter-knit community.”

“What you should always be asking yourself is, how hard do I make it for my customers to do business with me? What can I do to make it easier?” 


Sean Sheppard is Founding Partner, GrowthX and Co-Founder, GrowthX Academy

Sean is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully grown dozens of early-stage companies across a wide variety of products and markets.

At GrowthX Academy, Sean is focusing on sharing his expertise in monitoring and adjusting revenue pipelines to help startups improve the probability and predictability of sales and marketing success.

Before co-founding GrowthX, Sean built and ran the sales and business development track at Tradecraft, a flipped-classroom trade school where people develop the knowledge, skills and training to succeed in traction roles at startups. Sean also co-founded the Professional Sales College to change the way the world values the sales profession through graduating the best educated and trained sales professionals in the world.

Marketing Trends podcast is brought to you by Salesforce. Discover marketing built on the world’s number one CRM: Salesforce. Put your customer at the center of every interaction. Automate engagement with each customer. And build your marketing strategy around the entire customer journey. Salesforce. We bring marketing and engagement together. Learn more at

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