The coronavirus crisis has changed the business world, and this requires knowing how to communicate in a crisis.
Many service-based business owners are afraid of communicating at all right now for fear of seeming tone-deaf.
And if they are talking to clients, they’re often not sharing their services out of fear they’ll appear that they are “taking advantage” of the current crisis.
(Side note: If you have something of value that can help your clients, you are not “taking advantage” of anyone simply by letting them know about it.)
But not communicating in a crisis is a bad strategy. You simply need to adjust your message to match the market.
Why you still need to communicate — even during a crisis
It’s important to keep communicating in a crisis so that…
- You can connect with your clients. You want to let your clients know that you understand they might be impacted, and that you care (because you do)!
- You stay top of mind so that when clients are ready to re-engage or to buy services like yours, they will remember you.
- You can be of service and provide valuable resources and information that can help people through a trying time.
So, obviously, it’s important to communicate, but how do you communicate effectively these days?
The key is to be sensitive to your clients, not be too pushy, and yet, still get the word out that you are open for business.
Here are 5 tips to effectively communicate in a crisis:
1. Be authentic. Basically, be yourself. Share what’s been happening with you lately, including your thoughts and feelings on the matter. Be honest about who you are and where you’re at. It’s a two-way conversation and clients likely are interested in your specific take on things right now.
2. Be personal. Whenever possible, try to connect with your clients in person, over video or at least over the phone. Reach out to see how they are doing personally, and ask if there’s anything you can do to help support them.
3. Be empathetic. Be empathetic to whatever is going on with your clients, even if you don’t know what that is. Just as you might have clients who are unsure and trepidatious right now, you might have some who are thriving. Don’t make assumptions, but try to meet them where they are.
4. Be helpful. Always be a helper whenever you can. This doesn’t mean giving away your services for free, but it does mean finding small ways you can be of service to your clients. Consider offering a tip or two, providing a free resource, or connecting them to another person or resource that can help.
5. Be a resource. Above and beyond being helpful, you also want to provide something of value within your area of expertise. This means you need to understand what exactly your clients need and then go the extra step of creating a resource or tool that could help them. (Again, make sure you truly understand the needs of your clients here, so that what you create can help many!)
Effective communication is not just what you say, but how you say it
You can have all the right words, but when the intent and tone aren’t quite right, your message may fall flat.
You want to ensure you match your tone to the tone of the market right now, while still offering your support and your expertise.
You may need to change your message to effectively communicate in a crisis situation. You want to make sure your message is truly on point right now, in this new reality.
Feeling like you’re not there yet?
Now the perfect time to develop a strong message that describes who you are and what you do in words that resonate with your dream clients. See how you can magnetize your message and attract more ideal clients.