The COVID-19 crisis caused many business owners to experience things for the very first time. Customers ordered to stay home. Businesses deemed nonessential and ordered to close. Many personal liberties curtailed. All of this has created a lot of fear. So what can we do to help clients see past it?
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast today. Cohost Chris Templeton, and I will be talking about seeing past the fear and helping our clients to do the same. Welcome back, Chris.
Chris: Hi David, with everything that’s been happening, wall to wall news coverage of every detail. There has certainly been a lot of fear in the market and rightfully so. I know that our topic today is about seeing past it, but don’t you think a little fear is actually helpful?
David: Well, I think it can be, particularly for some people. Some people are really motivated by fear. And so for those who are motivated by fear, I think that it can be helpful in encouraging them to do the things that we’re being told we need to do. But I think it’s a fine line. And sometimes the danger is that when there is too much fear, not enough fact, or too much fear, not enough critical thinking, that we all tend to start to devolve mentally. We tend maybe not to be able to think as clearly or think straight. So I think, yes, a little fear can be helpful to some people, but overall, I don’t know. I just feel as if most of us are better at making intelligent, thoughtful decisions critically than we are from a basis of fear.
Chris: It’s a really, really good point. And I think a lot of people don’t even realize that they’re falling into it occasionally. And with what’s going on now, every detail on the news, it’s certainly easy to go down that road. And all of a sudden we start to behave in a way, make decisions in a way that are based on that underlying fear without even recognizing it. A balanced perspective sure does make a big difference, don’t you think?
David: Yeah, I think balance is very important. I had this thought the other day about the words to the National Anthem, “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” And I think it can be challenging for some people to think in terms of the land of the free, when you’re required to stay home. And the home of the brave, when everything they’re telling you on television is designed to potentially make you fearful. And so, it’s finding the balance and recognizing that there are facts, and we need to be able to look at the facts and just think in terms of “how can we keep things moving forward?” How can we do it for ourselves to be able to think critically analyze situations intelligently and help our clients to do the same?
Chris: Well, and I think from that standpoint, it is about perspective. It is saying to yourselves, into your coworkers and your family and friends, “we are going to get through this.” We don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like, but we know that we’ve been through it as a planet, in what, 1918 with the Spanish flu? And we do come back from these things. And even that, just as a starting point, in trying to bring more perspective and balance to what I’m thinking, has to be a great step in the right direction, don’t you think?
David: Yeah, absolutely. And the better we get at doing that, the better off we’re going to be. But right now, I mean, when I look at what’s going on with our clients and with different people that I’ve talked to in business, a lot of the fear that I see people dealing with is the unknown. That seems to be the biggest thing. And it reminds me of childhood fears. The reason that children are afraid of the dark, is not because it’s dark. It’s because they don’t know what’s going on. It’s because they can’t see what’s happening. And as a result, it’s really the fear of the unknown. And that’s a lot of what we’ve been dealing with over the past couple of weeks and months is that there’s just too much unknown. And we hear lots of different conflicting reports. And as a result of it, people just don’t really know what to think. And that’s what generates a lot of the fear, because the question is, “should I go out, should I not go out? Should I approach clients? Should I approach clients? Am I going to appear insensitive if I talk to people about moving things forward and trying to continue life?” And so those are a lot of the fears that people are dealing with. It’s the unknown. And it’s the response that we could potentially get, which is also unknown. I think a lot of it just boils back down to unknown.
Chris: Absolutely. And you said it, the top of that statement when we are in fear, it’s because we don’t know what to think. And so that’s where I think what we do is we really look and say, okay, how can I put this into perspective in a way that’s going to help to alleviate some of that fear and really helped me to see that things are going to be better at some point, knowing that there’s an end out there that can serve us. I think that thinking serves us and then we can start to put together facts that support that, that have us saying, okay, look, I know that we’re starting to see the curve flatten. I know that we’re starting to see professionals say that things are starting to make some more sense. And then we’ve got to deal with what is factual and how can that serve me? There’s good, valuable information out there that can help you to feel less fearful and feel like you’re moving in a direction that’s going to serve you.
David: Right. And that’s critical. Since we don’t know, since a lot of us don’t know, our natural instinct is to buy into whatever programming we start out with. And so people tend to become more entrenched in their opinions, but just trying to look at things objectively and recognizing that everyone does want to get out of this I think.
Chris: Oh absolutely.
David: Everybody wants to get to the other side of it. And so the question is how can I do that as quickly and as efficiently and as safely and as effectively as possible? So that’s a lot of what the balance is. And part it, we think about what prospects and our clients are going through. It’s the same stuff. They’re dealing with a lot of the same issues, a lot of the same fears that we are. And so when we’re able to have those conversations intelligently and to be able to say, “Hey, listen, this is what I’m dealing with. You know, what are you dealing with at the moment? How can I help?” And that goes back to what we’ve talked about. It’s practically been a theme of these podcasts is the idea that, you know, now is a time to ask people not so much, what can I sell you, but how can I help? And when we get back to that, when we get focused on the other people, we get focused on the prospects and clients to say, how can I help them then that helps to pull ourselves out of it. When we’re too internally focused, when we’re focused on our own fears, our own concerns about the things that are affecting us, then it’s impossible to be focused on what our prospects and clients are dealing with. And I find that by turning the attention outward, it creates a much better vibe.
David: Certainly for myself. And it creates a much better vibe for the people that you’re interacting with.
Chris: I mean, think about it. If what I did was I called you and said, “Hey, David, just calling to check in and see how you’re getting through this. I’ve been up and down about it. Where are you?” What a change in perspective that’s going to create for a business associate, whether it’s a prospect, a client. Just opening that door. I imagine for so many people, David, that this whole thing, a lot of what happens when we’re in fear, is we try to hide from it. Oh, I just won’t deal with it. And having that nice, easy door open, you open that door and you create a situation where down the road they call you and they say we’re back up and running. Things are better. And hopefully in a more economically thriving place where they can say, Hey, I want you to know, I really appreciated that call from you. It really helped me to just kind of put things in perspective, to take a look at kind of where I was. That’s huge.
David: Yeah. You talk about the idea of flattening the curve, and I think it would be really great if we could flatten the curve in terms of the fear. Because I think that that tends to peak and then a lot of the best decisions are just not even being made. I know in the early stages of this, there were some people who just sort of panicked right out of the gate, and they just stopped everything. And they were just trying to figure out what they were going to do next. I think there are a lot of us who felt like, okay, once things get back to normal, things can start to improve pretty quickly. And I’m still hoping that can be the case, but from what I’m seeing, because of the fear, even as they start opening things, what we’re finding is people are like, well, I can go out now, but do I want to? Am I ready to? And so as a result of that, that could make things go more slowly. So when I think in terms of seeing past the fear and helping our clients to do the same, which is the theme of this podcast, what I’m looking at is to say, okay, how do we do that first for ourselves? How do we see past the fear. For me, a lot of it is about sort of projecting ourselves into the future and saying, okay, this is where we need to go. And of course, a lot of our podcast series over the past few weeks has been, how do I continue to move things forward in the business, utilizing technology instead of being in front of people and all that sort of thing. But part of it from a psychological standpoint, it’s really looking at, okay, can I first see past the fear? Am I comfortable or confident enough that I’m going to be able to make it through it in my business? And I’m going to be able to help others do the same. And if I can then can, I convey that to my prospects and clients? I had put out recording years ago, during one of the last economic downturns, where I was talking about being a recession rescue worker and the analogy I used, and what I talked about then, is the idea that you can’t help your prospects and clients out of the pit, if you’re down in the pit with them. And so we first have to elevate our own thinking. We first have to elevate our own ideas and our own perspective and get our attitudes elevated before we can start helping anyone else to join us in that. Part of it is simply taking the time in some occasions, to just clear your thoughts, think rationally, think clearly in terms of what you want to see happen in your life and in your business, think through some of the steps that you can take to start making those things happen and then help your clients to do the same thing.
Chris: And what a huge thing that is. For nine out of the ten people that you reach out to are going to say, you know, what? Love your perspective! And I think that’s the other thing, obviously you just can’t call and say, “Hey, how you doing? Everything’s going to be great.” That’s not going to serve you. But if you have a balanced perspective about the good, the bad, the ugly, and are able to have a conversation about that from a place of, I’m really looking forward to this, coming through this on the other end, to the best of our ability. I think that’s that lack of fear that opens people up and creates that leadership that you’re talking about, which it really is, isn’t it?
David: Yeah. And I think it is possible to help our clients to see past the fear, but we’re not going to be able to do that until we’re successful in doing it with ourselves. And so that requires a little internal analysis. That requires a little looking inward to say, okay, what are the main things that I’m scared about right now? Is it about having to make payroll? Is it about having to sort of re-start my business after not being able to operate for a while? What are the primary fears that I’m dealing with and what are some of the solutions that I can come up with to help get myself going? And then get yourself mentally to a place where once you’ve conquered that, then it’s a lot easier to go to your prospects and clients and to help them. And sometimes even if you’re not quite there, simply talking to your prospects and clients, finding out where they are and helping them to troubleshoot their issues will help you to troubleshoot some of your own. So the student becomes the teacher, the teacher becomes the student. It sort of fills that cycle. And just by having those conversations, we can help each other to think more, clearly, be less fearful and start accomplishing the things we need to accomplish.
Chris: And, at the same time, also creating stronger and better connections with the people that you want to do business with down the road. And there is nothing wrong with this old “don’t mix business and personal”. What a bunch of garbage be personal, take the time to do these kinds of things and understand that it is going to help your business as long as it’s not your primary driver for calling, right? If this is just a a veiled attempt to be well positioned for when this is over, that’s probably not the best way to do it. But really connecting with people personally, especially business people, I think is something that especially right here and now can make a huge difference. Not only for us, in clarifying where we are and putting things in perspective, but also to help our people that we care about in business do the same.
David: Absolutely. And I think in fact, that will be the topic of our next podcast. We’ll talk about creating those connections. How can we do that? What sort of connections do we need to connect and help people to feel a little less isolated? Cause that’s another thing in addition to the fear, there’s also this aspect of isolation. So we can hit that one in the next podcast.
Chris: Absolutely. So if you need help with minimizing the short term damage to your business and positioning yourself as the go-to person for the recovery, with all the things that we’ve talked about, you can also go to TopSecrets.com/call and schedule a strategy session to find out if David and his team can help you. That’s TopSecrets.com/call. David. I think what we’re doing is really a huge service to the people that listen to this. And I expect that that’s the feedback you’ll get. But if you’ve got different feedback, we’re always open for that. Aren’t we?
David: Absolutely. Yeah. And hopefully that’s the case. I hope that people are finding this helpful. And again, if you’ve got any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let us hear it.
Chris: Absolutely. Hey David, thank you so much.
David: All right. Thank you, Chris.
David: These are very strange times, and it’s likely the next 90 days in business are going to be critical for you. So if I offered to work with you, virtually, over the next 90 days, to help you to minimize the short term damage to your business, and position yourself perfectly for the long-term, as the go-to person in your market, while everyone else is too afraid to move, would you take me up on that offer? It’s important to understand that this is not for everyone. Specifically, you must be serious about doing what’s necessary to grow and scale your business right now. This is what’s going to help you to minimize short-term damage and position yourself as the leader in your market during the recovery. You must be ready, willing and able to invest in yourself, your business, and getting new clients. You must be willing to follow very specific instructions. You must be friendly and coachable. And, you must be ready to start now. This is not for those who want to “wait it out.” If you meet all five of those criteria, schedule a one-on-one strategy session with us to determine if we’re a good fit to work together. Please, only schedule a time when you know you’ll actually show up. Just go to TopSecrets.com/call. That’s TopSecrets.com/call.