Doing Medical Fitness Business in the Middle of a Pandemic

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Look, people who very recently were in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs at legacy and influence suddenly find themselves seeking safety and security in the bottom of that pyramid. They can’t be both. Communicate to the person based on the situation they’re in.

We are still in the middle of a pandemic. You still may be reaching out to people in your target market, who have medical issues they need and want to address. Those problems haven’t gone away.

Yet, you can’t ignore the moment and the way it lands for individuals.

You need to merge your message with the moment, the middle of a pandemic moment, that we’re in cannot be ignored. If you either work with businesses, or you’re working with other trainers, medical exercise specialists, or allied health care professionals as you reach out, potentially you have to be conscious.

Duped “tone deaf,” failing to reach out and be of service before you reach out to make gains will accelerate your decline.

If you, for example, reach out in need of an affiliate partnership relationship where you have

a message about a program that is a benefit for a specific problem, you have to be inclusive of the times and the moment that we’re in right now.

New Normal: Not, But Different

Everybody has problems today they did not have in January or February of 2020. If you ignore what’s going on for the person on the other end of that receiving message you will alienate and lose potential relationships that could have been forged in this special time.

You will have more opportunity and deeper relationships when you observe a few common communication guidelines.

Do you have, serve, or are an agency, business, or association? How have you served before asking? How have you responded to their needs? How have you given, generously, asking what they need and how you can support?

Expect that everything has changed, and nothing is the same. In some cases, you may be pleasantly surprised. There are opportunities. You should also assume that it’s false that “everyone is not spending money right now.” Because some are spending the same and others are spending more.

Silver Lining

Health has risen to the top. Some businesses and their owners have been operating on a more limited basis, freeing up time to focus on their health. They’ve also got the message that a strong immune system is crucial now and later in a way they’ve never had that message before.

Be Helpful First

All of us are dealing with something different. This will continue indefinitely, right now we don’t know for how long. For a lot of people this is a time of survival mode. And if they believe it’s true, especially, then you’re reaching out as standard operating procedure for your organization, your agency, or your business, you’ll sabotage relationships.

Instead of first reaching out with what you need, ask, how can I help you?

Anything less stands a good chance of resulting in a breakup. There are some businesses and associations going over and above. There are many whom you’ve not heard from.

Imagine if you were dating, and there was conflict in your relationship. Whether you caused it or not, whether you intentionally did something or not, doesn’t matter. If it’s there, you can’t ignore it, or pretend that it doesn’t exist if you want to continue that relationship.

You’ve got to address it.

Deepen Relationships By Offering Support

So, for those trainers, medical exercise specialist fitness professionals, and health coaches that want to create a bigger business through the opportunity we have in this crisis and pandemic right now, you have to be thoughtful. You have to be of service. You have to change your usual standard operating procedures.

Whatever they were in January or February of 2020, they are forever changed. If you’re still on the same timeline, you’re still promoting the same programs, you’re ignoring the real problem, you’ll lose.

You will not only sabotage relationships you’ve had up to this point, and you’ll lose the opportunity to create deeper relationships with brand new individuals. Everyone is figuring out how to pivot and how to change. So, if your business is operating on old standards in this new moment, you will lose.

Operating with pre-pandemic strategies in the middle of a pandemic is like using a 1970 research study to design your 2020 exercise prescription.

Win Win in the Middle of a Pandemic?

How can you take what you need and turn it in to an asset and an advantage for someone else that you need something from? How can you turn it around?

There are three steps for conflict resolution. Think about how they might be applicable now, even before there is a conflict.

Apply a potential conflict or barrier reduction before there ever is a barrier. What kind of a relationship, could you create then?

Step one is validate.

Validate the person who’s going to receive your message or the person who’s sending you a message.

Step two is make them happy.  

If you can’t give them exactly what they need, you can still start with, here’s the good news. This is what I/we can do.

What is that minimum viable acceptable space you can give? Start asking what it is you want, and where they are and what they want at this moment. 

Step Three you go into action.

You don’t put it onto them. But you go into action, making it easier, better and simpler, so that they want to forge forward with you, feeling as if they’ve landed on a soft spot with you as an ally in this moment we’re in.

Anybody who’s operating by the same standards that they were in January or February, ignoring the needs of the people that they serve and the people that they serve both internally and externally will fail. You will alienate people to the point that they’re already under set stress.

Look, internally, you know you’ve potentially cut hours, cut pay, laid off, or you’re trying to navigate PPP loans and what that will look like. Terms are anybody’s guess. You may be wearing not one but all hats in your business right now. There is nothing harder than losing internal customers who’ve come to be like family and close friends. Take care of them if you’ve still got them. Leaders lead. You don’t have to have the answers.

Communication begins with asking then listening.

Respect This Middle of a Pandemic Space

Everyone you come in contact with right now is potentially in survival mode and wants to be in thrive mode. But in order to do that, they’ve got to pivot, and they potentially have 90% more things on their plate than they had pre-pandemic.

Start with presence. Show up. You don’t have to have answers. Find out what the questions are anyway. Ask if you don’t know and provide solutions when you have them. Offer an ear when you don’t. Offer opportunities so it’s easier for them to participate with you, easier than ever.

Look, people who very recently were in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs at legacy and influence suddenly find themselves seeking safety and security in the bottom of that pyramid. They can’t be both. Communicate to the person based on the situation they’re in.

And they’ll be grateful, and loyal forever.

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