And what a lot of people seem to be doing is one of a few things. So the first is, a lot of people are stepping back from sales completely. They're not communicating at all. They're frightened that trying to make any kind of sale will give a bad impression of themselves at this moment.
Well that's not necessarily what clients want. They don't want you to sell to them, probably. They certainly don't want any of their time to be wasted. But there may be something valuable that you have to offer them. There may be some information that you're able to give them. There may be some hand-holding that you can do for them. Or indeed, they may just be craving some honesty, some authenticity.
So, what I'm doing now - talking to you honestly about the current situation. Some of your clients may be craving some of that. So being passive is not a great way to behave at the moment.
Conversely, being too aggressive, of course, is not a great way to behave at the moment. So clients are definitely not in the space of wanting to have heavy sales messages thrown at them right now. It comes across as needy, it comes across as panicky, and it's very hard to get any value across to customers if you're behaving in that way.
So there's probably a middle ground. I think a lot of us, we're going to really fall in love with brands as we go through this crisis, and we're going to really fall out of love with brands as we go through this crisis.
Let me give you a couple of quick examples. As a speaker, obviously I travel a lot, I fly a lot, and most of my work has dried up, of course, and certainly all the international work has absolutely dried up. But I had an email from British Airways just over a week ago, and the email, I'm paraphrasing it, but the email was very clear. It said, "We understand what you're going through. We get what you're going through, and you can turn any of your flights with us into a voucher to be redeemed at any point to the same amount of money over the next 12 months."
And that was hugely reassuring for me, it took one big worry off my mind. I'm not going to lose that money. Fingers crossed, my clients are going to rebook for later in the year or this time next year, so I'm still going to be able to use those flights, and that was great.
Another example is a high street supermarket who I won't name because they may not be the only one. But a friend of mine was telling me about his mother who is in the high-risk group, the highly vulnerable group identified by the government, and this high street supermarket has said to their customers, "If you're in this group, get in touch with us, let us know and we will prioritise your online deliveries." She had to wait online a bit, and she had to fulfil her order within a 90-minute window, but once she had done that, it was very simple to do, and her deliveries turned up 48 hours later. That's a huge relief for someone who's in a highly vulnerable group.
So that's an example of a company not just throwing themselves at someone, not being totally passive either, not being heavy-selling, but really trying to understand the needs of their customers and giving them an experience that they'll remember for a long time. So if you're able to do that, that's an approach to adopt.
And the very last thought I'd leave you with is, imagine that you are at this time next year. Imagine we're sitting here in, whenever you're watching this, March or April or May 2021, so you're a year ahead. If you think about it from that perspective, look back and say: