April 1, 2020

Don’t assume

Sent by Jonathan Stark on April 1st, 2020

Lots of business are struggling right now. But this doesn’t mean that YOUR clients are struggling right now. Don’t assume that they are.

Let’s say you have a client that is in a hard hit industry. Their revenue is probably down, and they might be struggling financially.

Or they could be sitting on six months of runway and want to use this slow period to invest in laying the groundwork for a slingshot forward in the bounce back.

If you don’t talk to them, you don’t know for sure. I wouldn’t arbitrarily discount things for them.

Offering charity to a client who is extremely self-reliant and doesn’t need it could easily backfire and be perceived as rude or offensive. It’s like saying, “You’re obviously not okay,” to someone who is actually just fine, thank you very much.

So what should you do?

If you’re concerned about the fiscal health of your clients, I’d reach out to each privately and ask with genuine empathy how they are doing.

Based on the response, I might offer a discount, or to delay invoicing to a later date, or to waive my fee entirely.

Or I might do nothing because they are fine.

IMHO deploying remediation tactics without first having a conversation is impersonal and presumptive, which is never the way your clients want to be treated.