Always protect Home Plate. That old baseball term, still holds true. Home Plate, home base whichever you call it- it’s where your true base of support resides. No matter where you live or work, there’s always a certain amount of uncertainty, yet generally we know where our most consistent support resides. In the South, the weather is almost on our radar. A￼ tornado or hurricane can destructively come through certain times of the year. When bad weather is in the forecast, if we have a bit of warning or just feel it in our bones- we always protect home base. We board up windows and secure the doors. We round up our loved ones, we know instinctively where ‘to get’… the safest places to stay until the storm passes over. Then, when the danger’s passed, we assess the damage, then set about rebuilding- doing what we can to get our homes and businesses back up and running.
In this current crisis we’re in, the rule- to protect home plate, holds true yet in different ways. I sense a certain exhaustion, an anxiety and even a bit too much of ‘We can do this’ and ‘I’m fine’ going on. Dare I say it? How do we sustain this current crisis? It sounds good to try to ‘maintain a work/life balance’. Still. I’m sensing that folks are keeping a stiff upper lip, whistlin’ in the dark and are downright weary. Frenetic. Worried. Overwhelmed.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve got brain fog. And! In danger of getting cataracts from looking for hours at whatever our favorite ‘screens‘ are. I have to say it, many are making the mistake of- Posting too much and too often.
Now, you know I don’t have all the answers. I’m looking for answers just like you are. If you are a local or retail business, these are very stressful times. Protect your home plate too. Please keep your loyal customers up to date with your information and hours of operation.
After years in retail, even owning my own business- here’s what I know for sure..
- Keep your information clear and easy to understand.
- Please don’t overwhelm your loyal customer base or new contacts.
- Post the most pertinent information on the social media platform where your highest following resides.
- And keep the information fresh and up to date.
Now. This may go against conventional wisdom, yet I do know this is true- Don’t Overwhelm!
Think of it as preparing a garden, planting seed, giving it time to grow…
- The more often you call, email, post on social media- the more likely it is that folks will stop seeing it, ignore it and ultimately stop following or unsubscribe.
- Once a day may actually be too often, more than once? A surefire way to lose customers.
- The same is true for whatever ongoing interest you may have, especially on social media.
- Folks get information overload in normal times, now? When they are doing more essential business, helping their family or working online- believe me- less is more.
- If you you have a loyal customer base that follows your social media sites– now is the time to develop personal contacts. Social Media has taken on increased importance- So here’s a few suggestions:
- Follow them- leave appropriate non-sales-y comments.
- You can even discover their interests and offer an encouraging word or phrase.
- If you have a product or service – the conventional wisdom is to post every third or fifth post. In between, share something about yourself, a quote that keeps you going and tell them how important or amazing they are!
- Building connections now actually is protecting your own home base.
Appropriate interest in your customers now, is like planting seeds for a future harvest.
Knowing your customers will help you form a business plan for meeting their ongoing needs, later. Folks have been trending toward more personalized shopping experiences for years now. This is your chance to develop those skills. And while you may be near panic over your profits, remember the principles in this post.
If you tailor what you offer to their needs, and in their price range you will have more sales. Find that perfect place where their needs, your product or service overlap into what they’re willing to pay for. Support + Service = Sales. The most successful folks I’ve ever known-
- 1. Have portable dreams and..
- 2. Make adjustments as quickly as possible.
Jane Goodall, had a long standing career observing chimpanzees. Did she set out to make a huge impact on the world? Probably not and yet she did. The small things she did everyday educated, informed and endeared her to the world. Here’s what she said:
Do what you can to protect Home Plate. Then, expand your circle of influence. Believe that you make a difference. Believe me, you will impact your world. It’s up to you how you choose to use your influence. Here’s wishing you, all the best and as always-
Love y’all, Brenda