Depending where you live (and where your clients live) the pandemic’s impact may be different from others in your neighbourhood or in your industry.
As the effects of COVID-19 keep rolling across the globe, changes are happening. And people are experiencing a roller coaster ride of emotional highs and lows as the pandemic’s impact hits them personally.
But there is another piece to our current situation. Not only is it resulting in chaos in the financial markets, world economies and in your personal lives, it is opening the door to something else.
Some people are using the time to re-evaluate their lives. Are you one of them?
Has the pandemic shifted your perspective
Perhaps you have taken the pause the world has (and is experiencing) and you did some deep exploration of what you offer and who you are. I have.
While I am working from home for one part of my life and taking care of clients and business. I’ve also taken a pause. A break. A breather. And it helps me keep the balance during these unfamiliar times.
Did you take a breather, take the time to look at your life and business from a different perspective? What did you discover?
Are old dreams and values resurfacing, have your values and goals changed, is your motivation the same, or could it be the time to start something ‘different?’
Are you re-imagining your future
If you’re in the middle of sorting out your life, work and future, then you need to arrive at a plan – a design for the future.
Will your business change or not? Will some of it change? How will your clients react to changes, or how will they react if you don’t change?
It’s time to evaluate your role in your client’s world.
As the worldwide economy continues to contract in a cataclysmic seizure it is important your clients see the value in working with you.
Why not take the time to take a cold hard look at that. What value will you have in your client’s lives as the economies slowly, slowly, slowly improve? Will you and your business be a priority in their lives or a luxury?
Can you keep saying the same thing, offering the same prices and deals, the same programs as if nothing has happened? Remember, your business is about them not you.
People may be overwhelmed with managing daily life, caring for family, worry and paying the bills, and trying to find the right answers to a future that is unknown. You might be doing the same in your life, too.
What you can do
Keep taking care of your clients while planting seeds for the future. There is a universal core value your clients need and expect from you.
They desperately need the ability to trust you, to respect you and to know you have their best interests close to your heart.
If your client’s budgets are collapsing as other needs take priority, you can help them by planting seeds with them. Help them remember you. Do something they will respect. Show you care. Stay in touch – respectfully.
Clients will recognize kindness and generosity.
Clients do have memories and how you help today will be remember in better times.
What should you be ‘saying’
If you are re-evaluating your personal and business life, take the time to write down your ideas. Indulge in your creative side. Make vision boards, read people who inspire you, find a virtual brainstorming group, listen to podcasts or music that sparks thinking.
Is this the time to push your newest idea, your newest pitch? Maybe – if you use the right language and tone.
Use empathy. Show understanding. Offer respectful optimism with honesty. Reach out to show how you support your clients as they re-start their lives, too.
Think it doesn’t matter?
When people feel unsettled, they look for safety. They want comfort. They want reassurance to feel secure.
A recent research piece emphasised how the public is perceiving businesses and brands during this period. For example, here’s a report from The Atlantic.
Businesses who demonstrate genuine empathy in their messaging are seen in a more favourable and likeable light. No surprise, right?
We are living in unknown times. We do not have experience in our collective memory to know what is going to happen next.
We all experience loss, grief and despair at some point during our lives. We’ve all hurt. Many of us have survived and recovered.
But this pandemic is different from anything we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. Nothing in the past is like what is happening today.
The is not the 1918 Influenza or Bubonic Plague. Nor is this the 1929 market crash and Great Depression. This is not the South Sea Bubble of 1720. This is not is not 9/11 or 2008. This is not a political coup, revolution or genocide. It’s not a natural disaster as was the 2004 Tsunami, or Australian fires, or Katrina. Each of which caused horrible and unfair hardships.
It’s different – this time
This pandemic is involving the world – not one geographical area. It’s not the local economy – it’s national and international. It’s not just one kind of patient – it’s anyone. The pandemic is not as deadly as other diseases but it’s ability to invisibly spread anywhere and everywhere is the risk we have to learn to live with.
How the world re-ignites will be shaped by many factors, some of which we don’t yet know. As I write this the world is on the verge of ‘re-opening’ and there will be a rush of energy by many to make everything the same as it was before. It might be good, it might not. Regardless, the push to fire -up consumerisim will be powerul.
What will your message be during the next stage?
Like it or not, the post-pandemic world will be different than what we had before.
Create something better when you can
Take the time to seed your garden for the future. Show your clients you care.
Let them know you’re with them as well all lean into the next stage, the future and how we can all thrive – again.
Be well. Stay well.