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We should communicate with empathy in these times

Most people have worries about coronavirus

Right now most of us will have grave concerns that stem from the coronavirus pandemic. What will happen next? Will all our loved ones be safe? How are we going to manage with restricted movement? Will our business survive and how are we going to cope in the medium term?

We have a completely new set of challenges to what we were facing a few weeks ago. It is highly disturbing. And, for many people, it is creating high levels of stress.

The last thing we need right now is another sales e-mail!

I am still receiving a lot of e-mails along the lines of “business as usual”. There a plenty of others that are trying to sell products without acknowledging the turbulent times in which we live.

Someone that he spoke with recently told me that he taught several brand new swear words to sales people who had rung him up recently. The only positive side was that he was able to vent some of his stress and anger on these people.

But we still need sales, so what should we do?

Here are a few guidelines:

  • Acknowledge the times we are in
  • Acknowledge that many people are going through tough times at the moment
  • Ask what you can do to help on a personal level as well as a business level (and mean what you say)
  • Come up with ideas on how you can help your clients and their businesses (I will share some very soon)
  • Avoid any phrase along the lines of “business as usual”

Help your communities too

Printing companies are already coming up with great ideas. They have prepared drawing packs for children who are stuck at home. Many have printed leaflets that let people offer help to those self-isolating. One print management company has guaranteed to pay its suppliers within seven days to help with cashflow. Another printer has guaranteed the wages of its workers.

These are the right things to do – although not all companies are in a position to offer these last two ideas. But by doing the right thing you will also benefit when people come looking for print in the future. These gestures, big or small, are remembered.

People are worrying right now. They appreciate it when you realise and acknowledge this.

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