2020 has been a year packed full of crazy, and this week’s elections are likely to serve up more chaos. I’m not much for conflict. I am certainly not going to dive into a passionate political discussion in a blog or even conversation this week. But I will likely reach out to friends, co-workers, and clients to touch base and let them know I’m here if they need anything.
Chaos Can Lead to Strong Connections
Maybe I’m old-fashioned. (OK, I’ll admit I am a little old-fashioned). But I believe a well-placed phone call or personal visit is more valuable than any text or email. I know my neighbors well, and I chat with the mail person and the folks at the gas station just because. In my recent blog, “Welcome to Prospectville,” I talked about the importance of making and nurturing connections in your town.
While I’m no football player (soccer and tennis are my games), some might say my personality is a little like Peyton Manning in those Welcome to Peytonville ads -- always friendly and excited about who’s moving into town and the energy they may bring to the neighborhood, culture, and business climate. I understand the importance of delivering valuable insight to keep business conversations going, and I try to reach out to people when times are chaotic or difficult.
A Little Comfort Goes a Long Way
Right now, people are looking for comfort. Watch or read a few ads and you’ll find that current advertising copy is packed with terms like cozy, safe, warm, and comfort. I’ve also noticed that instead of watching and talking about the latest releases, my friends and family are re-embracing old favorites from M*A*S*H to The Office, Seinfeld, and Back to the Future, and even Disney Classics. Many of us are recalling the safety and security of our childhoods amidst today’s chaos.
That’s why I couldn’t help but smile when a business colleague pointed out that an infographic we’re working on regarding the Buyer’s Journey reminded her of the map running through a Fisher-Price Town she played with as a child. If you were a '70s kid, you likely had one yourself. It was an entire town populated by wooden pegs with painted faces called “Little People.” You could collect and join the different individual businesses, like the barbershop, gas station, and bakery. Even better, a friend who had the hospital or garage with the crankable car lift could connect their Fisher-Price Town with yours for an afternoon of pretend. Nothing scary or stressful was going down in the Fisher Price Town.
How I Miss the Simple Life
Right now, many of us wish we could return to the simple comforts of childhood. We may even long to Live in a Fisher Price Town, filled with love for everybody and where you can leave your door open from sun-up to sundown. It’s a comforting vision and a great reminder of all of the different businesses that can come together as a community and diversify your business portfolio.
While this week may not be the right time for a hard sell, it’s certainly appropriate to reach out to your prospects and customers, just to see how they’re doing. You don’t need to (and probably should not) talk politics. Let’s avoid getting anyone amped up about what ifs. But why not use this week to provide a bit of comfort and TLC to clients?
While many families and friends are feeling divided due to politics, this is a time to get closer to your prospects and clients. To remind them that you are an informed and engaged part of their community, as well as a business advocate. Let contacts know you’re thinking of them during what you know can be a stressful time for business owners. Tell them you care about them and their business -- and that you’re here to help should they need you.
Share a Smile
That’s what creating meaningful, long-lasting relationships is all about. It’s not just about the sale -- it’s about the human connection. So pick up the phone, send a friendly note, or even forward that warm and friendly Fisher-Price video. Share a smile. Doing so will help you make or build a deeper connection that I sincerely believe can and will last beyond 2020.
Take care this week, and let us know what you’re doing to feel cozy and comforted among your family, friends, and community.