We are living in a whole new world. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have shaken our lives and shifted our society. It is too soon to determine what will come out of this: economically, it seems more than likely that we will be in a deep recession (maybe a depression). The uncertainty of things has surged panic levels. People are fearful and nervous.
What is a self-employed person, business owner, or sales professional to do during these bizarre days? In such a confusing time, it is tough to conduct business as usual, when most everyone is working remotely from home (except for those in essential industries or mission-critical roles). Should you call on prospects, send out marketing material, email, text message? Is it in good taste? Should you put things on hold until we’re out this?
The answer will vary for everyone: BUT, Here are three things you should do to stay relevant during these trying times.
Do not stop communicating! Your clients/prospects are just as nervous, uncertain, and frightened as you. More than likely, they’re dealing with the same issues you are: adjusting to working from home with kids, possible loss of work, or diminished income. This moment in time presents an excellent opportunity for you to reach out to let them know how much you care and that you understand their situation because, frankly, you’re living it also. Empathy goes a long way – sometimes, having a great conversation is the perfect medicine for anxiety. Believe it or not, it will make you feel better also.
We have so many technological tools at our disposal this day in age, and we must take advantage of them! I highly suggest utilizing the power of video. Video has magical power, especially when YOU are speaking directly to the viewer on the other end. Unlike a written post, email, or text message, with video, the viewer sees your face plus your facial expressions and they make eye contact with you. It gives them a feeling of being right there with you, with an added (subconscious) bonus of you looking like a celebrity. I recommend your record educational videos on pertinent information that may impact the lives of your clients or industry-specific videos (i.e., how your industry is handling the pandemic).
Also, use video conference services like Zoom, Go to Meeting, or Google Hangout to facilitate group conversation. A big (and fun) trend right now is a “Virtual Happy Hour.” I’ve done a few, and they’ve led to fantastic conversations. But what I’ve found most compelling and conducive to talk are short, personal video messages sent via email, text message or Social Media. Customized short videos sent to a specific individual or small group allow for a deeper connection. The persons receiving your message will thank you for taking the time to reach out and this will create a fantastic rapport. There’s a catch – just like in the real world – YOU HAVE TO BE GENUINE in your message, you need to care and love on them, they can spot a contrived fake immediately! You can use apps like Marco Polo, BombBomb or Dubb.
Many of these services offer free trials. I use Dubb extensively and highly recommend it.
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More than ever, we need to be champions for our clients and our prospects, ambassadors of information and resources. Now is the time when we ask, “How May I Help?” Because what we’re all going through is bigger than us or any industry. We should be a bridge to resources and information within our industry and world at large. For instance, if you uncover a new program that can help someone out, share it. We can’t be coy or bashful; this is the time to be bold. It’s time to think about the community at large and how you can be a part of lifting it. Share your knowledge, expertise, talents and information! Your clients will value you and thank you for it. Plus, if you’re a resource for others, you’ll always be in demand.
Let’s keep our hearts warm and our minds sharp! We’ll get through this together!