Thoughts on managing commerce in a time of crisis
by John P. DavidMr. David is president of David PR Group, in Miami Florida, a public relations firm focused on branding and strategic communication for businesses. He blogs regularly on topics of interest to salespeople, and shares them here.
When I was a kid growing up in western New York, we had an egg man. Once a week, he delivered eggs to our house, carrying them in a charming little basket. My best guess is the eggs came out of a chicken that morning. Talk about “farm to table!” Some folks older than me might remember when milk was delivered daily, and my grandparents told tales of icemen delivering blocks of ice to pre-refrigeration iceboxes.
Such items were delivered out of necessity. During this outbreak, we need to talk about delivery on a couple of different levels.
The first one is literal. Can you deliver your product or service in this current environment? The answer is probably yes, but with virtual tools, some savvy and albeit limited personal contact. For at least the next few weeks, we need to start delivering our goods and services in new ways.
Can You Deliver Your Product?
Restaurants and bars are feeling the big pinch, but many have already started to mobilize ways to offer take out or drive-through services. Chick-fil-A, the kings of drive-through, have already shifted their stores to 100% drive-through. Banks and credit unions are doing the same.
Can you physically deliver your product? Perhaps your margins are too thin, but what if you offered free delivery with larger orders?
Can you virtually deliver your product? Two weeks ago, which now seems like months ago, I gave four presentations by webinar that I would have preferred to do in person. (Once you get a taste of an audience as a professional speaker, it’s hard to go back.) But I learned that some of my material can be delivered virtually with equal effectiveness.
Commerce Must Continue
The second type of delivery is more metaphorical. Commerce must continue, even as the damn virus seems debilitating to those of us who have had nary a symptom. We all must step up. We all have to work harder and smarter. I will say it again: Commerce must continue.
Believe me, I know it’s tough. The virus is scary and fear can grip you in previously unseen ways. We have to keep on pushing and within the bounds of social distancing, potential quarantines and lockdowns. This means that you have to deliver motivation to your people. You have to deliver opportunity for workers. You have to deliver results for your customers.
Over the past few days, I’ve been working with many of my clients on messaging regarding COVID-19. And I’m observing some amazing stories of “delivery” that I will be sharing in the coming days. If you need help with your messaging or just want to talk about how you can deliver your product or service. Let me know.
Mr. David is author of the book ‘How to Protect (Or Destroy) Your Reputation Online’, available at bookstores everywhere and online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indie Bound.