Each day seems to bring a new challenge into our worlds. But there is one thing – it’s free and unlimited – that can draw your clients closer to you.
So, here’s a short fable for a Sunday afternoon.
Once upon a time, after a hard and bloody battle, a Queen was leading her soldiers back to their camp. The soldiers were exhausted. Their camp had run out of food.
Seeing a Farmer on the road, the Queen asked the Farmer “Farmer, lead me to a field rich with ripe wheat. My soldiers need food. Lead me to a farm with chickens and pigs. For my soldiers need food.”
The Farmer nodded and led the Queen through a quiet village towards a field and farm just outside the village on the westside. The sun was still high in the blue sky although noon was long past, the sun was slowly moving into the west. The fields were golden in the sun, the animals were fat and healthy.
As they arrived at the farm the Queen told her soldiers to “Cut every grain, take the chickens and the pigs. Take it all.”
But, before the soldiers could move, the Farmer suddenly spoke. “Wait!” she said, “There’s a larger field this way, and the livestock are good producers. Come this way. Take from there.”
And she turned away from the farm to lead the Queen to a rich field just beyond. “Here. Take it all if you need to.” said the Farmer in a quiet and calm voice.
The Queen urged her soldiers forward and they began clearing the field and capturing some chickens, pigs and a couple of horses.
The Queen, curious, turned to the Farmer to ask: “Farmer, why did you stop me from taking from the first farm?”
The Farmer, bowed her head for a minute as if ashamed.
Taking a deep breath, she looked up into the Queen’s eyes and said: “I could not. That field was not mine. I could not let you destroy what was not mine to give. This is my farm. My field. My animals. Take what you need.”
The Queen nodded, thoughtfully, looking more closely at the Farmer – her blistered hands, dusty clothes and worn shoes. Her tired eyes.
Then, the Queen said: “You are honest. You are kind. You chose to help your neighbour at your own cost. For that I will pay you well for your crop and animals. Thank you.”
So, what is the lesson? I think you know it.
Are you the Queen, the Farmer or a nameless soldier to your clients?
This, more than any recent time is when acts of kindness are needed
If you’re worrying about your future, so is your client. If you’re wondering how you might be paying your bills, so might your client.
Worlds have changed. Lifestyle and income are changing, but we just don’t know if this will be permanent or how it will look after economies recover (in a year or more).
Will this pandemic lead us into a renaissance of the 21st century? Will values, goals and dreams change? Will communities be more cohesive? Will personal priorities change?
We can guess about human nature and we can guess about economies, but the fact is we don’t know. None of us know the answers to these questions.
All we know is what we know is what we hope for.
You, me, and clients, are using social platforms more often throughout the day.
That’s seems simple, at first glance. But, is it. Does every home have enough computers so kids can do their schoolwork and for the adults can work from home? Does everyone have cheap access to data and the internet?
Are people able to concentrate on new information? Have some of your clients moved into grieving or survival modes? Are people able to spend as easily as they did three weeks ago, or two months ago?
What are their new priorities today? Are you one of them?
These are all things to consider when you’re thinking about your clients.
How are you reaching your clients?
Most likely, you’re using virtual and online methods. Now, we all know Zoom meetings are growing in popularity because it’s easy and affordable. Facetime, Skype and all those platform are being used to connect.
Virtual companionship is taking on a different meaning as we look for ways to be visually and emotionally connected to friends, family and colleagues…and clients – in real time.
If you’re not savvy with these platforms, or don’t think they’d work – take the time to learn about them. Practice and see what you think.
Regardless of what you’re using to be connected it doesn’t mean anything without the right content – the message. What information is helpful to your clients?
“What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.” –David Ogilvy
It’s also reasonable to assume the emails will continue to be important in reaching your clients – because they are also easy and affordable. But emails that are overflowing in valuable content, not just mindless trash or hard sales pitches.
Time to think
As we live and work through these strange days, I invite you to take stock of yourself and your business.
If you’re busy connecting to your clients, take the time to understand their needs today, and likely for the next couple or three months.
If your office is quiet, this can be a time to explore your values, your services and maybe harvest some fresh ideas to help your clients.
We are all learning as we go through the pandemic. It’s really easy to say “Oh – we’ve survived other disasters, we’ll be fine.” That might be true. And, it might be very different.
However, what we know today is this pandemic is shifting our cultures in ways it hasn’t needed to shift before.
Explore the message(s) you want to leave with your clients.
Be professional. Be the Queen and the Farmer and the soldier when you need to be. We have it all within us.
Show your heart. And, whenever possible, show kindness.
“Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” – Bill Bernbach
Ms Charron is a certified copywriter with more than 35 years experience in a variety of industries. She’s a copywriter and a researcher who is focused on remembering the human heart in connecting businesses to clients, and enjoys working in self-improvement and personal growth.