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Oh the Year

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

Coming into the year 2020, optimism for a record year in sales was very high. The excitement of some of the major holidays falling on a Friday or Saturday added to the joy of what the year could bring. Valentine's was on a Friday as is the delight of Christmas. The Fourth of July celebration along with Halloween is a Saturday Night dream for kids and adults. Marketing to insurance agents, adjusters, property managers and various business owners during this year was going to be super exciting. I mean, it's 2020, perfect vision for a super strong and exciting year.  However, as the month of February closed and the days leading up to March 13th became nerve-racking, it became evident that this year was going to be far from what we all expected.  We had never heard of nor been through what some were calling a “pandemic” and we didn’t know what was going to happen thus causing “fear of the unknown”.

March 13th was a Friday, no less, and that was the day my sales, marketing and community involvement world drastically change and it is not the same today nor will it be for some time. During the “stay home-stay healthy” order, I had fear, stress and depression fill my soul. I used to be able to stop in and visit with agents and business owners face to face. Direct communication was/is key for me and not being able to do this made me feel weak, like I was not doing my job. Weekly Rotary meetings screeched to a halt as did the fundraising for the local non-profits I help with. In person board meetings are a thing of the past, for now, as Zoom and other virtual meeting platforms have arose to help us all communicate and try to bring a little normalcy to our lives. Every August for the past 8 years we hosted a blood drive to support the American Red Cross. That might not happen this year and the impact of that will be felt by many. We all are certainly living with a different mind-set today. We have different attitudes and even our personalities have changed. One thing has changed with our appearance and that is the fact we must cover our faces with a mask. A person can learn a lot from a person’s facial expression and their smile. But with all that being said, the sales & marketing show must go on.

For any business in the Longview/Kelso area, or even nationwide, the sales and marketing department must continue on the engagement path. If not for growth then for continued presence, and SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso is no different. Constant encouraging emails to Center of Influences are a must and at an all time high of need. Meaningful and fun social media posts are vital. As said by the Chief Executive Officer of SERVPRO, Rick Isaacson, “There’s no sugar coating it, the pandemic has challenged the SERVPRO system like never before, and it will take tenacious focus to recover.” Rick went on to say that we are “tough and resilient.” That we are and we have learned that from the top down. In today’s marketing world, we need to stay top of mind more than ever. The consumer has many distractions. Perhaps radio ads may prove to have a more effective reach today than last year. Same can be said about paid social media ads. Get out and walk the streets dressed in SERVPRO with a verbal greeting to all you see. Involvement in the community can be helping with an online virtual fundraising auction, to help support a non-profit, instead of an in-person auction. Be bold, be a keyboard worrier. We must not give up as an individual for this fight is a team fight. And as Team SERVPRO, we will win.

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