Bruce Berman, Sales Hiring Secrets
Looking back at some pre shutdown journalism, I came across an interesting article regarding light vehicle sales in the US for 2020. Written before everything shut down but after the potential for terrible devastation was apparent and people were discussing ways to mitigate the damage. Restricting movement of people in the US as had been done in some European nations at that point was one strategy. I believe the impact on automobile sales will be far greater than was projected back in the middle of March.
Here we are a couple months later with most states making some degree of progress in relaxing restrictions on people and businesses. One of the themes in the article was that an important element of any economic recovery will be consumer confidence. This is something that is primarily thought of as the consumer sentiment about the economy in general and their economic situation in particular. Can we afford a new car now or not, for instance?
Post shut down, consumer confidence takes on a whole new meaning, as in, am I confident that this business takes COVID 19 seriously enough to have taken reasonable precautions to minimize my risk of interacting with them? Your business will literally be contending with a fear on the part of some prospects that choosing to do business with your organization could be deadly.
I have not been and continue not to be an alarmist about what’s going on but rather a seeker of solid scientific knowledge. And the knowledge sought has been to be able to make good data driven choices about what are and are not acceptable risks. I went to the store to buy a pair of shoes last week. Sneeze shields more common in salad bars protected the cashier from me and me from her. I wore a mask and interacted as little as possible with anyone else and always at a safe distance. I needed the shoes badly and felt the risk was worth it. Had I walked into a store filled with people not wearing masks, my confidence would have dropped and I may have changed my mind on the risk calculation.
The point of this is that you should assume there will be anxiety on the part of everybody as we start to ease our way out of an unprecedented societal reaction to a frightening scenario. I would recommend erring on the side of too much caution in developing your business “reopen” strategy with respect to risk mitigation for employers and customers. Don’t go crazy by any means, but it’s reasonable to assume that someone not terribly concerned with the risk of interaction with your organization will not have a problem if you’ve taken more precautions than they feel necessary.
The converse is certainly not the same.