Today’s topic is all about exuding confidence to your customers. 

 The good news is with all of this COVID-19 stuff, things are finally starting to look like there is a chance of normalcy now whether we get back to completely normal or how things were three or four months ago, I guess is still to be determined. But there’s at least a lot of states that are finally starting to open things up. 

I’m in New York, Buffalo in particular and we’re in phase two, some states are completely open while some states haven’t started phase one — it varies region by region. However, there’s one thing that I’m concerned with as things continue to open up. That is, you need to exude confidence to your customers that when and if they come and do business with you again, that you’re going to be following all the different protocols. There should be safety measures that you’re taking to ensure that everyone is wearing masks, for example. We want to kind of talk through that. 

However, I guess, I have two concerns regarding this matter. The first one is I’m worried that even though things are continuing to open up, I’m worried that it’s going to take a few more months for people to kind of fully want to return. For example, if I’m looking at the trampoline and entertainment business — those places tend to be a germ nightmare. When I was a kid, I used to go to places I think were called, Leaps and Bounds. Kids would crawl through different tunnels and things like that. The owners and staff probably sanitize them once a day, but I’m not even sure. However, one thing is for sure. They’re not sanitizing them in between kids and during the day —it just wasn’t happening. Yet, people really didn’t worry about that. Yes, there were some moms that were like, “No, I’m not going to take my kids to that place because it’s germy.” 

But think about those kinds of businesses. Look at the restaurant industry, for example. In Western New York, they are allowing restaurants to reopen, but only the patios and then there’s a whole list of other things that you need to follow. I believe the documents are about 13 pages long. 

So, even though things are starting to open up, I just want to make sure that people start to come back now because if I know anything about you, and I hope that I do, the last couple of months were insanely difficult. There are quite a few businesses that I know that literally right now are on the brink of having to close. I just put the finishing touches on my dissertation paper for my master’s thesis, which was all about small business failure. I started just a little bit because the lion’s share of the paper was already written before COVID, but the metrics are just not great as to how things are looking for small businesses in terms of small business failure or success. I mean, how are things going to play out? And in the metrics, they’re just grim. 

My thought process however is, the faster we can get people that come back to your business, the faster that we get people off the sidelines because not all this cash has disappeared. If you look back at some of those stimulus paper payments that were sent out, a lot of people put those in the bank for a rainy day or for an emergency fund because they realized they didn’t have an emergency fund. Whether they consider your product or service in emergencies, it’s a different story. But in some cases, they will be if your car breaks, you have to go to work, you’re going to go and get it fixed, for example. Or your hot water tank breaks, you need hot water. Those repair costs could pull from that money. So those home services or auto warehouse businesses are still out there, but if you’re a restaurant, a watch dealer, or a life or business coach, they might not deem those essential. 

How do you again convince people to get off the sidelines and have them start doing business with you again? To me, the big thing that you want to start doing now if you have not done already is that you want to do a video and talk about and show everything that you are doing to keep them and your team safe. I’m not talking about hiring a video production company and turning this into a five-day shoot. I’m talking about you leveraging your iPhone, for example on a tripod if needed, and just showing what you are doing to make sure that if they walk into your business, they’re not going to end up getting infected (hopefully, they’re not going to get infected). 

If I was an auto dealer, for example, I would want to show that I’m getting everything sanitized, whether that’s once a day or once a week, whatever is needed for some of these things so they can last up to a couple of weeks. 

II would literally want to show that process happening. Are you going to be doing test drives but what if someone wants to test drive a vehicle and then an hour later, someone wants to test drive that same vehicle? How do you think that through and again, two months ago, nobody would think to ask the question if somebody was in this vehicle an hour ago? Now, that stuff is going to be on their mind. So you need to let them know what you’re doing while you’re bringing in more vehicles to be test drive vehicles. You can tell your customers that they’re only allowed to be driven by one person once a day and then the team sanitizes the vehicle every single day. So there’s only one person that’s driving it, for example. What are you doing to make sure that if you’re getting a new vehicle your vehicle is getting serviced on? 

It’s not just we’re wearing masks and using hand sanitizer. It’s more now about talking about what your team is doing that you train them on these different things. They’re now more aware. You’ve got to go through this list, and right now my recommendation is to show — not just tell — if you can demonstrate what you’re doing, all the better. 

If you’re in the childcare space, there’s a ton of restrictions there. What can you show that you’re doing measures to keep the kids safe, as well as the parents? Are you conducting tours? If so, what are you doing to make sure that those tours are done effectively? Maybe you stop doing tours and you’re only doing virtual tours. 

You need to start communicating all of this stuff pretty much every single day because there are going to be a lot of people on the sidelines that are still reluctant over the coming months to take action, to come to your business to go out to eat again. 

Now they’re eventually going to get back into their old routines. But I can’t have you waiting for three up to six months, for all of that to return. I want you to start exuding confidence that you’re up to par that you’re taking these measures, you’re doing these things. You’re XYZ, you’re literally showing them all of the different processes so that they know that it’s great to come back to your business. 

And then let them know that you’re a local business. You’re a parent in the community and you know, like, and trust these other families and you’re not going to do anything to put their family at risk because it puts your family at risk, too. Speak from the heart, exude confidence, and start communicating all this today. 

Get out there, put your video together, and take some action.