Picture this scenario if you can. You have a business where you help people get a result in the field you have chosen as your specialty. You may be helping them by selling your direct services in person, or you help them through your online courses and memberships. Or maybe you sell products or even recommend other businesses products and services for a commission. In this scenario your business is growing because you get results for people, they recommend you to friends who need your help and the future looks rosy (though of course still challenging because, let’s face it, business always serves us challenges).
Then, almost overnight, people no longer want what you are offering.
It’s not because they no longer need help with the problems you solve for them. And it’s not because you are terrible at what you do and they have gone elsewhere with their business. It’s not your fault but the fact is, they just don’t see you as a top priority at the moment and probably won’t for a while.
The world has been thrown into crisis. People are afraid for their health, the lives of their loved ones, hundreds of thousands lose their jobs within a few weeks and other businesses are going belly up everywhere you look.
Maslow and Buying Behaviour in a Time of Crisis
If you think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people are focused on their physical needs (like food, water and… according to Maslow… sex) and safety (health, employment, somewhere to live).
If your business does not immediately solve these issues, what do you do to keep your business alive without having to completely reinvent yourself and your business? How do you sell with compassion in a time of crisis?
Of course, this scenario is no longer a dinner party hypothetical. It’s very real for every one of us at the moment. Of course, this crisis will pass and people will be open to focus on those other tiers of needs in Maslow’s pyramid pictured above. But what can you do NOW to still make sales in a way that is compassionate but also strategic?
A Template For Compassionate Communication
In this week’s podcast I share with you a 3-step template you can use in any communication that leads to a sale. You can use this template for emails, videos, social media posts and in personal conversations. This is the exact template I shared with my Accelerator clients in the first week the Corona crisis started to impact our businesses and we brainstormed how to apply this template to their own communication. It certainly allows you to sell during a crisis with far more confidence.
I go into detail on the podcast, so I do recommend you listen (it’s not long). And to help you take action quickly I’ll summarise it for you below. Plus I’ve created a downloadable cheat sheet for you to use.
I’d really appreciate it if you can share this with any of your business friends at the moment, especially those who feel guilty about selling right now or who are trying to sell but getting kick-back from people who resent them for doing so. Let’s help everyone’s businesses not just survive the next few months, but potentially thrive beyond that.
You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below. Never miss an episode. Click here for all the ways you can subscribe.
PLUS a special podcast bonus for you today. An action guide to download
Cheat Sheet: 3 Step Template To Sell with Compassion in a Time of Crisis
The 3 Step Template To Sell With Compassion in a Time of Crisis
This template is an adaptation of the Story, Segue, Sell framework taught by my friend Pete Godfrey (a.k.a. The Wizard of Words).
I’ve chosen this framework because it strategically uses stories to connect powerfully with people’s emotions and compassionately MOVE their emotions from one of fear to one of hope. Because It is only from a place of hope that people can allow themselves to even think about anything other than survival.
Start With a Specific Hope You Want Them to Feel… then work backwards
What do people need to feel in order to see value in what you sell right now?
Most importantly, you want them to connect with the feeling of HOPE. The hope that yes, they can actually do something about this. Yes, they can take control of some things in a time when it feels like they have little control over anything.
Here are few examples of hopeful thoughts:
- My physical fitness is important and I can get fitter now
- This is a time to focus on my creativity. I can use this to either achieve a long term goal or this will be my outlet to take control of my mental health
- I can start a new business and upskilling or following a process to start a new business is absolutely possible.
- My relationship with my loved ones are absolutely essential and I can take steps to make sure my relationship remain strong
- Fill in the blanks for your business focus
Acknowledge The Fear… then Transition to Hope
If you only used step 1 when sharing a story, it simply won’t get you the results. In normal times, to share a story of a client case study or your own transformation would work really well.
But when people are in crisis you need to meet them emotionally where they are right now.
So acknowledge the feelings and fears they are having right now. This could be by sharing your own reactions, reactions from the media or how your clients have been telling you they feel.
People need to acknowledge their feelings of fear or loneliness or sadness or frustration are valid. Then once you have connected with them emotionally where they are now you can share your story to an outcome that gives them hope.
To help you, in the podcast I share one story doing the rounds on social media at the moment (the canals of venice being clear for the first time in a gazillion years) and show you how to connect and acknowledge their fears right now and then how to tell that story with a different twist if you are in one of 3 different industries.
I also share a story of a conversation I had with my hairdresser (yep my appointment happened to fall 2 days before us Aussies were confined to barracks and bad hair days – true luck). This is a story you can use if you are a business coach or provide business services.
For both stories and adaptations you can listen to the podcast or scroll down to the bottom of the page and read the transcript. When you download the bonus cheat sheet I’ll also send you the script as a PDF.
The segue is how you tease out the moral of the story and how it relates to what you have to offer. Where a lot of people go wrong is being too blunt.
If we use the story I shared above of the Venice Canals being clear and clean, a blunt segue for a naturopath would be…”so are you ready to make your body as clean as the Venice canals?”
A compassionate segue goes more like this:
“It’s like Mother Earth is healing and there is an opportunity to embrace nature and be part of that healing ourselves. We can be focusing on helping the earth to heal and part of that is embracing our own healing as the part of nature we are. “ …You can take it from there.
In the second segue we still connect with WHY we hope.
This is where most people sabotage themselves.
They either think it has to be complicated or they simply avoid the sale and leave the communication at the segue because they think selling is a dirty word.
Selling is simply communicating clearly so you and the potential customer can see if you are both a good match.
They have a problem or an aspiration and they need help to achieve it.
You have a solution, the skills and an offer.
Are you a good match?
Can you help them?
Let them know how you can help.
It doesn’t need to be super complicated. Be clear about what the next steps are (Sales page? Telephone call? Opt in? Drop me an email?).
How To Get Started
Become a collector of stories.
You can start today by looking at headlines, memes or trending tweets. Challenge yourself to find the message of hope in each one that segues to how you help people.
In every conversation you have today, reflect on the story potential.
Record them in a way that works for you (I like to use the Workflowy tool).
Download the bonus cheat sheet I have created for you, and the transcript PDF and then DO YOUR FIRST STORY TODAY.
Go on. I double dare you.
Then come and share with me the action you’ve taken.
You can also share your stories over in the bonus private Facebook Group that accompanies this podcast. You can join the Romance Your Tribe-Tribe over here.
A Special Message From Janet
Thank you so much for being here. I know there are a lot of podcasts you could choose to listen to and you chose to join me on Romance Your Tribe Radio.
I’m honoured and grateful for your support.
If you enjoyed this week’s episode, I’d love for you to take a quick minute to share your thoughts with us and leave an honest review and rating for the show over on iTunes!
Read The Transcript Here
So how do you approach this so that you can still continue to sell, you can still keep your business viable, you can still help the people who were going to need your help to start with anyway. But do it in a way that is classy but also strategic. So that’s what I’m going to be sharing with you today. I have a three step template to be able to communicate. Now, this communication may be via email, video. It may be via blog posts. It could even be used in one on one conversations with people. So it’s a really nice process and it’s respectful to the client and also very likely can increase your chances of being able to make sales when really they’re approached wrong. It’s gonna be an uphill battle for you just in the moment. So let me go dive straight into what this, what this template is.
Okay. Now the first thing we have to think about is the problem. So the big problem is people are really scared. They are really scared. They are, they’re in survival mode. Okay. And their focus is on what’s coming up in the future. I don’t know. They’re constantly at the moment of me recording this, they’re constantly like all of us probably, you know, always watching the news, having conversations constantly about how it’s impacting everybody. And there is fear. Fear, fear. It is really, really normal. So if you think about this in terms of making sales, this fear is an objection at now. Normally, whenever you’re making a sale, when you’re letting help, helping people work out is what I’m offering right? For you? Is it going to get you the result you want? Are you the right person for it? So that’s what a sale is, is are you a right match?
Am I the right match? Okay, let’s make this happen. So when it comes to a sale, there’s always going to be objections. Now those objections may be to you. Are you the right person? Those objections may be to what you’re offering. Is those the way you’ve structured this and the, what you’re offering? Is that going to get me the outcome? And a lot of times the objections are personal ones, like, am I the right person to do this? Am I going to have the time to do this? So there’s objections that work on all of those different levels. Now, if you know that you’re the person that can absolutely get the results for them and you have a way to help them that you know was going to help them get the results you need to focus at the moment that what you have got here is people’s personal objections of is this the right time?
Should I be focusing on this? Is this my priority? So think of this as meeting an objection in any kind of sale. And again, I just really want to reiterate that a lot of times people see selling as manipulative. If you’re thinking that lighten up on yourself baby. Because if you’re in business, your whole thing there is you’re providing solutions, you’re helping people. A sale is simply is this the right person and they a good match. That’s what it is. So I want you to, what I’m going about to share with you is not manipulation. It is a way of being able to go, okay, are we a match at the moment people are finding it very difficult to be able to make those decisions of is this the right match? Because there are emotions are so tied up with fear and Hey, yours will be as well.
Okay, yours will be around. Is my business going belly up? Because people are for fear and not buying. Okay, so you’re both got fear happening. I totally get it. So that if you think about it in this way, when it comes to you being able to communicate with people, to be able to see is, you know, here’s the offer. Is this going to work for you and is this the right time? You have to address that fear and you have to address it up front. You cannot address fear in a very, you know, logical sort of left brain side. You have to address fear through connecting with emotions that’s otherwise people will not be able to make. And a lot of times the decisions that they’re wanting to make is exactly for what you’ve got to offer. They just can’t make it. So how do you help them to move from that sense of despair to a sense of hope?
How do you do that? So that’s what I’m going to share with you now. This structure. Now I want to give a heads up to my friend Pete Godfrey, he’s been around for a gazillion years known as the wizard of words. And this is adapted from a framework that he has taught myself and my clients, which is called the triple S: Story, Segue, Sell. It’s a template, a framework that he uses all the time for writing emails. And I use this for my emails. My clients do. We use these for for a lot of communications. So it’s based on that. So heads up to you Pete. But what I want to share with you is a bit of an adaptation for in this particular unique time that we find us. Okay. So the first thing is if we’re going to be starting with their emotions, the best way to help people to be able to move from that feeling of despair and fear to move over into a feeling of hope because it can only be that feeling of hope if they’re then willing to think about, okay, well now is this possible for me?
The great, the best way to do that is through stories because stories connect with the emotions. So how do you work out what story to tell and what is the framework for that story? So this is the step number one. And within that we’ve got a couple of steps. Okay? So first of all, you want to think about, okay, what is the, what is the thing that I want people to think afterwards? So it may be that you’re wanting people to feel at the end that, you know what, I’m, my health is absolutely a top priority at the moment. So if that’s what you’re wanting to do, keep that in mind. Okay? I want them to think about health. You might be thinking, you know what creativity is the most important thing or relationships with people is the most important thing or my ability to be able to take this opportunity and creating new revenue stream as a result or my ability to actually my business to survive this and then perhaps even thrive.
So what is the outcome that you want people to feel that glimmer of hope of? Yeah, it is possible. And yes I can, it’s possible for me. So think about that final thing. And of course that is going to relate to whatever it is that you have to offer them. And I’ll give you an example in a moment so you can see, okay, so start with what is the outcome that I’m wanting to have? And then you can move on. So if that’s the story that you want, so now you can’t just go and tell a hopeful story. It’s not going to work. Okay? It’s not gonna work because people are at the moment, deep in fear, deep in insecurity. So you need to meet people where they are now and acknowledge it. So the way to do that is to either tell a story from your own experience or tell a story that is happening in the media and you want it to be talking about starting with the fear, the what was wrong, and then transitioning through to what happened, what happened next.
So that they get that, that that story then becomes to where the hope is. You can’t just start with the hope because people are not going to be able to hear it. It’s just going to go in deaf ears. You have to start where they are and acknowledge. Okay. so let me give you an example cause this can be a hard thing to think of. So I’ll share an example that you may have been aware of. You might’ve been seeing in the media, which is these beautiful photos that are going around of Venice, the waterways in Venice, that for the first time in a gazillion years people can see the fish. And in fact there are, people have been seeing dolphins. If what I’m seeing is true, how exciting is that? Now, if he just went straight into your communication with people going, how awesome is this about the dolphins?
That will definitely have an impact. What will have a strong impact? Then we’ll make them feel that this is significant for them is if you start the story in… For example, this way it can be, you know, sharing, you know, Oh I know, I get what it’s like. You know, at the moment that you know, you know, L all of us, I’ve got this whole new reality at the moment of we’re being hunkered down. We can’t go about our daily lives, we can’t connect. And I, and you can be saying, look, I know for myself this is really, really new. Like you know, I’m, I’m, I haven’t to change things. Or you could be like, man, you can say, well actually not that much has changed cause I worked from home anyway, but you know, other things have. So you’re acknowledging that and then how that can be feeling like everything is going wrong.
Like it’s the apocalypse. So you can acknowledge those feelings so that people know that they’re heard. Your next step then is to go, okay, but you know what? On the side of every negative, there are always hints of positives and then you tell the story about, Hey, I forgot a link here for you to a photo or here’s a video of can you believe it? That it’s like mother nature has cleansed herself and now look at these, this beauty that nature is being able to that we can see that is coming back. So you can be talking about the story is, but then pulling in the, the, the lesson that comes from that about you know, what, there is hope, there is hope for our environment, there is hope for us. Maybe we’re going to have a new norm and new way that we’re going to be interacting with our environment.
That’s your story of hope and then then it can become part of your Segue. So this is over to acknowledging Pete of Story, Segue, Sell. If you’ve got your story, your segue there needs to then talk about how that hope relates to what it is that you’ve got to sell, because the sell is the next part. So depending on what market you’re in, let me show you how you can be taking this one story and then you can be segueing over. So I’m just looking down at my notes here cause I came up with a few ideas here. If your just say it comes to do with you know that health is one of your, the things that you know, you’re selling something that helps people with health, you can then be focusing on, it just goes to show by simplifying, by clearing whatever this is the health, the change it makes to our environment.
This is the same thing that can happen with you and your body. And this is your opportunity to change and be really focusing on the health, the clear. So you’d be doing it in that way. It could be to do with health. You could be looking at if it was say to do with living naturally if what you’re doing might be around, you know, either it might be a spirituality thing. It might be to do with natural products that you sell. It might be to do if you’re a naturopath or if you’re some kind of healer, those sorts of things. You can be talking about how, you know, this is our moment to really embrace mother nature and to be with, you know, this is going to be something that you’re, that you’re living as a full body and this is your opportunity to change.
Now this is your call from the universe. Whatever language it is that you would use naturally that with your target market. So you can see the same story can be used to segue to a few different ones. So it could be another one could be around creativity where you know, I mean there’s a lots of different stories that you could be using, but even if we talk from this one here at Ken, be around, you know, what this is how can we creatively change what we’re doing? So you might be moving over to creativity, self expression. There’s lots of ways that you can do this. I just wanted to give you that one as an example. But the important principles here are for you to know, you’ve got to be very clear, first of all, on what you’re offering, of course.
But what is it that they need to be able to believe? What is the hope that they need have? And what is the belief that they can do this, that is going to allow them to even be receptive to hearing what you’ve got to offer. Keeping in mind this is for people who, who want what you’ve got. They just can’t hear it at the moment. Okay? So if be starting with there, be very clear on what is the moral of the story that you want to have. And then I want you to think about stories that you’re seeing in the media, stories that are coming from your own life. In fact, I’ll share with you, it’s a little bit longer than I was going to, but I’ll share with you another story that can help you relate to business. Just a simple one that’s been happening that I just noticed this week.
The important thing there is when you are choosing your story, made sure that you don’t just dive through into the happy ending. You need to meet people where they are. You need to acknowledge the fear that they have. And once you’ve acknowledged that fear, then they will be receptive to hear the potential for hope. And it’s only then that they will be receptive to hear what you’ve got to talk about. So your challenge is to make sure that they connect seamlessly and I’ll show you one more story and then a way that, an action that you can be doing this week that’s going to help you to be able to do this. Okay. So one more story because the last one, I think it’s a bit of a push to try to pull it through to business. Okay. So just so you’re business to business another story that you could use.
So choose stories of what you can see that people are already doing now, or it could be stories from the past. You know, the classic one is a thing that was, that’s been going around is about Isaac Newton was quarantined and that’s where he, you know, got all his great, his great theories. So that’s a classic one that’s going around, but you can even talk about simple ones that relate to what’s happening at the moment. As an example, just one of the conversations that I had this week just when I went to the hairdressers as an example. Do you like it? Is, you know, talking about she goes to yoga and so her yoga classes have been stopped but he really loves the yoga teacher. She loves that opportunity to be there herself. You know, to have that time out cause she’s a busy mum.
She loves connecting with her friends that she’s made through her yoga class that she paid. You know, that she’s, God is a regular commitment that she does, but it’s closed so you can talk about, that’s the beginning of the story. You know, how frustrating for her and how, you know, she’s something that she really wants and it’s yet another thing, the one thing that he did for herself that kept her sane and her connection with friends and that’s gone. What is she going to do now? She’s just feeling isolated and the other side of, wow, you know, what does her yoga teacher gonna do? She’s going to lose all the clients. She’s going to go broke. That’s the beginning of your story. People are going to go, yeah, I can relate to that. These are the conversations I’m having constantly. Then you can talk about, but you know what, that fantastic yoga teacher, she went immediately and created a virtual meeting.
So my client was telling me or my, my her client. So my hairdresser was telling me about, you know, what’s, so we actually all met through zoo and through a video meeting and I got to see all of my friends. We all, you know, we put lights and nice, you know, music in our background. And my yoga teacher led us through all the exercises that we did and we still got to connect and I’ve got to carve out that time for myself, for the yoga teacher. She still kept her customers. She still stayed connected. He still was able to make money and she’s still was able to help the people that needed her. So I tell that story for two reasons. One is it shows the hope. Okay. You can see the transition from fear and despair and how you’ve been able to through a story emotionally connect them to potential for hope.
And I also share it because sure I would then be selling on the end of that is, you know, what do you know how to do that? Can you procreate a virtual service? That would be for me if somebody else, you know, you might be doing something else, like how do you know if this is something that is right for your business, whatever it is. If you can tie that in to do with businesses and resilience, then that makes them so much more receptive to whatever you’ve got to offer. If you’re offering say business coaching or a program that helps them with one part of it. So I tell you that one because it’s not just talking about the the business owner, but it’s also talking about the client was happy cause that’s going to be one of the biggest fears that your clients are going to have.
And I know that my clients will have of number one, how do I go virtual? But also, and my client’s going to be happy, like, you know, is this gonna really disappoint them? Am I going to actually help them? That’s going to be one of the objections. So it helps you to meet that objection as well. So that’s just an example of one story from one conversation. Now your homework, your mission if you choose to accept it, is I want you to now just start in a notebook, in your phone, under notes on your computer, where ever I want you to start recording stories and I want you to, when you’re seeing all your, there’s no way that you can not be seeing stories when you’re on Facebook. There’s, you know, all these stories that are going around, videos being shared of these gorgeous Italians having this serenades of an evening.
There’s all these great stories that are happening in amongst the stories. So keep a record of those and I want you to then not just keep a note of them and not just keep a note of conversations that you’re having, thoughts that you’re having, things that people have told you, things that you’re noticing happening in your local community, things that’s happening on a, you know, on a government or a big, bigger business that you can see. I want you to keep a note of all of these stories and that I want you to think about what is the fear that is that the beginning of this and what is the Ray of hope and what is the moral that I can use that can segue that over into how I help people. That is your homework. Okay. And and I’ll actually, as a part of this, I will create a a, a sheet for you, a cheat sheet that will help to guide you through that so that you can remember when you’ve got to come across or any of these stories.
These are the things that I need to ask myself. So I’ll have that. Therefore you as a free downloadable to be able to help you. Okay, so I would love to hear from you now wherever you’re seeing this, whether you’re seeing this on as a podcast on iTunes, if you’re hearing this on iTunes, please come over to the podcast page because I will have that downloadable, that framework. Therefore you, if you are watching this on social media or anywhere, there will be a link there for you where you could go and get this. What I would really appreciate from you is if you have a friend that needs to hear this, please share it with them. It helps me to get my message out further. And if it can stop one more business from going under in this time, that would be success for me.
So if you can pass this onto a friend, that may be the thing that gets them thinking, that’s going to get them started. So I’d really appreciate if you would do that. If you’re over on iTunes, I would so appreciate if you would leave a a review for me, that would be just brilliant. And that helps me to help more people. So if you’re watching this, listening to this as a podcast, I’d really appreciate that. But most importantly, just share it with friends if it’s going to help them. And importantly, I really want to hear from you. So come over, I’ve got a free Facebook group that accompanies this podcast. It’s called the bromance, your tribe tribe. And that’s where we can discuss things here. So let me know, you know, tell me a little bit about your business and we can brainstorm there.
Okay. Some of the things that you can be doing, what sort of stories could work for you and your business? My clients that are in my success circle you know, this is stuff we can be working with hot seats that we’ve got there for you if you’re not in my, in my success cycle, I have got a crazy no brainer offer that I have got just for the moment here of the Corona. So if there’s no links there, wherever you’re watching this for you to be able to see that just message me. Because honestly I’ve thought about what’s going to help you to be able to get results quickly. And also to be able to keep me going with that membership. So I’ve looked up at a win-win so that if you want to know about that, I’ve got there. And also with my accelerator clients, like we’ve, we’ve totally all over this.
So we’re also working with my accelerator clients I’ve put together for you if you want to work with me really closely and just get this nailed quickly. That’s why it’s called accelerator contact me because I’ve also got some really flexible payment plans for you to be able to work with me closely. Okay. So that’s my last pitch at the end. No segue there except I really want to hear from you. If you use this, let me know. Go and also go, I’ll link wherever this is so you can go and check out Pete, go and thank him for his initial framework of the Story, Segue, Sell, and this is my Corona update to that. Okay. Hope you and your family stay well through all of this. And that you just get out there and take action and thrive baby. Okay, bye!