Communicating during a crisis: 5 tips for brokers to keep in mind
From pivoting to completely overhauling strategies, many businesses are forced to shift gears during these unprecedented times. What has not changed, however, is the need to communicate. In fact, keeping in touch with existing and potential clients during a crisis is more important than ever.
It really comes down to how we communicate during these trying times. This includes having an effective communication plan in place. So, going incognito and burying your head in the couch like an ostrich isn’t going to cut it. Now is the time to reach out, maintain healthy relationships, and continue growing your business. Here are five things brokers should keep in mind:
Don’t be a salesperson (not right now)
Sure, we all need to generate revenue, but now is not the time to solicit products and services in full force. In light of everything, would you appreciate a call today only to be sold to? Probably not.
Be conscious of this before deciding to pick up the phone – and avoid being that person. As RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos recently put it, “nobody wants to be sold to right now.” We couldn’t agree more, leading us to the next point.
Focus on relationships (and past clients)
Instead of a hard sell, focus on connecting with consumers and clients emotionally. Considering 60% to 90% of business comes from past clients, it is clear that maintaining these healthy relationships during a crisis is increasingly important. Pick up the phone and call every past customer (after you’ve purged your database) starting from the oldest to newest – not to sell but just to say hello and ask how things are going.
“Overall, focus on the long-term outlook, not a quick sell during these sensitive times.”
Be genuine, ask questions about what your clients are experiencing and how they are feeling; be a good listener to build trust and keep in touch. Overall, focus on the long-term outlook, not a quick sell during these sensitive times.
Clean your database
Internally, this is the time to reflect and clean house. Turn off Netflix, fire up the computer and take a long, hard look at your database. Take the time to review all your relationships. From vendors and clients to friends and colleagues, decide who and what is important in your life.
Where should you put all your energy? What relationships matter most to you and your business? Which people can you cut from the old Rolodex? These decisions will lead you on the right path and clean slate once the crisis is over.
Re-evaluate your value proposition & consumer messaging
Do you know where you’re going? Can you do better than your competitors? Is is time to reevaluate your moral compass? These are all deep, strategic thinking points to help formulate your new crisis-communications plan.
Ideally, this is the first thing you should do before making those calls and purging contacts. And guess what? You have the time to do this now.
Just be a good human
Tying all of this together, it’s important to display empathy and kindness for others when communicating. These are genuinely hard times for some clients, recognizing their struggle and offering a warm, sympathetic greeting can go a long way.
Tone down the salesmanship in favour of genuine relationships, purge your database and re-evaluate your business goals. These are all tips that can help improve your communication during a crisis. At the end of the day be kind, be present, and just be a good human.