We’re four weeks into the Stay at Home order in Colorado. Reports concerning the COVID-19 virus say that hospital admissions for the state are down and that we’re supposed to be able to open for business in another week and a half.
But even with this possible good news, on the national and international level we hear:
- that business openings should be done slowly,
- that there is a fear of a second round of the virus later in the year,
- that new hotspots in the country are popping up, and
- that the new normal once this is over will be different than the old normal before the virus began.
All this information (and misinformation) can put a lot of stress on a person. But the world conditions are going to change and things are going to improve. How long will it take? Who knows? But while we wait, we work. We may not work like we used to, but we still need to work.
Here are some of my thoughts and suggestions:
Accept that this will be slow and hard. Everyone is distracted right now. They’re wondering how to keep them and their family safe and healthy. Many are wondering where their next meal will come from and how they will make payments. And most are not allowed to work, if they still have a job to go to.
Remember that your customers and clients are the Hero and you’re the Helper. As the Helper, your job is to help your customers and clients reach their goals. Become a resource of help and encouragement during these difficult times. Be careful with any sales message you may have at this time.
Commit to a long-term sales mindset. I wish that sales for products and services would start up at the same level as we left off. But that’s not realistic. I think it’s like turning on the hot water in my bathroom at home. This room is the furthest in the house from the hot water heater and it seems to take forever to go through all the cold water in the pipe before it begins to warm up and then become hot. I think this is what it will be like when the new normal begins. Sales of products may begin slowly. After all, people need to get back to work before they have money to spend on your offerings.
Choose to practice compassion, empathy and patience. As I said before, everyone is distracted. Think of those that had wedding plans that are suddenly up in the air. Imagine losing a family member to natural causes and being unable to have a funeral. There are all kinds of distractions right now. Ask and listen. You will need to change up your sales messages for a while.
Adjust sales targets. We had created targets for our business in January that we’ve had to throw out the window. We’re working on revised goals for the remainder of the year and will update it as needed. And we may need to revise the revised numbers once we see when the stay at home order is lifted, when businesses begin to open and what spending looks like. What about you? Have you begun to look at where you want to go as a business when this is all over? Don’t wait to do this thinking you have time.
Create lower priced/commitment “bite-size” sales offerings. Customers and clients may be unable to spend what they did in the past. They may still need what we produced but can’t spend as much. What can you do differently to make it easier for customers and clients to make a purchase? Figuring this out can help you generate some revenue today.
Show the love to your current customers and clients. I understand sales offers that are limited to new customers, but I dislike them personally. It “feels” like my longevity and loyalty has no value to the business. And as a business owner I know how hard it is to get new clients. I also know how much money is lost when we lose a longtime client. Do something, even now during this time, to show that you are thankful for your current customers and clients.
Find ways to take a break. Take time to physically and mentally take a break. Keep in contact with others that are encouraging and positive. Pick up old hobbies. Facetime/Zoom a friend. Reintroduce yourself to those in your own home. Read. Binge watch Jack Ryan. Clean a room. Take a break.
Recognize that you’ll likely survive this. If you survive this, you can handle nearly everything that may come your way. And you -- personally -- will likely survive. And even if your business doesn’t make it, you can get through this. It will be a setback. It will be difficult, but it may allow you to pursue new opportunities.
I hope and pray that you are doing well.
And if there is anything that I can do to help you, let me know.