Now is still the time to be vulnerable

Pivot – this word has made me doubt the extensive vocabulary I thought that I had. Why? It’s the one word I find myself using to describe businesses overwhelmingly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, yet finding a way to rise above it. Even with reopening on the horizon.

But, what businesses are doing is so much more than pivoting. They’re being innovative,stretching, digging in and doing whatever it takes to survive. We’ve listened to our clients’ stories of adapting, supporting local heroes when sales have been cut in half, or rolling out programs that in normal situations would take months – even years – to take shape. Pivot doesn’t do them justice. It’s so much more.

When it comes to effective story-telling and messaging, we rely on words that paint a picture and evoke emotion. If there was ever a time to tell your story so that it results in action, it’s now. These unprecedented times have given us the permission to be vulnerable and step out of your “selling” comfort zone. How do you get there?

These three messages will not only help you tell your story effectively, and with emotion – it will make you stand out among the many who are doing so much to ensure their businesses survive this crisis.

  • The real impact COVID-19 is having on your business.

o We get it. It’s scary to let people in and share how dark these times really are. How painful it is to make difficult decisions involving people you probably see more than you do your own family. But, now is not the time to keep things on the surface. Emotion resonates with people. Don’t take our word for it, listen to Harvard (yes, the university). According to one professor’s study, 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious. Why? “Humans are driven by feelings.”

  • Safety: what are you doing to protect your employees and customers?

o We don’t know the lasting effect that this pandemic will have on the way we live for months, maybe even years. As businesses and restaurants prepare for reopening, one thing is clear: health and safety standards for businesses may never be the same. Messaging that focuses on what you’re doing to protect your people and your customers must be a priority.

  • How can people support you during this time?

o You must have a call to action. People across our community and our country continue to see the devastation this pandemic is creating for our local businesses, and they want to help. Whether it’s social media, local media, or prepping your own employees – you must identify your call to action so we know how we can help you survive this crisis. We’re all in this together, right?

We know many of you are preparing to embark on a new phase of this fight – your mind is running in every direction. If these three messages feel daunting, or you don’t even have the energy to verbalize them, we’re here for you.

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