“A dose of my own medicine tests my ‘social’ vaccine.”
If you know me, you know that I talk – a lot. I’m opinionated and freely offer advice. Beyond that, I like to ask really tough coaching questions; questions that challenge your assumptions when we talk about business.
Social media is one of the most often requested topics on which I speak. Inevitably during the presentation, someone says, “We changed out [pricing/layout/packages/fruit container sizes/] and we got [bad feedback/attacked/annihilated/lit-up/crucified] on social media. I know we should never have done that.]
Business coach Hugh carefully works through with question after question to find the real data, and most often we discover together that the social media response in the negative was so numerically small, that it is inconsequential.
We also discover that the emotional toll is disproportionately high, because, in our regular lives, most of us work with, live with, and interact with people who like us. It’s such a novel experience to find someone dissatisfied with us or our business that it creates an emotional shockwave. Our emotional response is disproportionate to the real data.
Typically, tell me if you didn’t, we both feel better after this exercise because the attacked business owner understands that this happens to others and that the real data indicates that they made a good decision and aren’t going to lose their business.
I feel great because I helped someone who was feeling bad about themselves and the guest interaction, but now has confidence in the good job that they are doing and some relief from the emotional pain through the discussion of a hard topic.
Reviewing the data, the real numbers, is like a vaccine against future social media harassments. Once you know to look at the data, you can temper your emotional response.
Then it happened to me.
Part 1 – Strawberries from “Help Out” to “SOLD OUT”
It’ all started with a Google Alert sent to me by my Aunt in Georgia. Drew from Jaemor Farms was on the news. Drew is our corn maze client, and Margaret had done PR work for them for years, so she stays in touch.
Drew had a pending disaster on his hands. The pandemic caused his large wholesale customer to cancel orders just as his strawberry season was about to kick-off. I called him immediately.
In the course of the call, I offered to hold a Drive-Thru Strawberry festival in Pennsylvania and try to help sell Drew’s berries. He and I talked through the details, not knowing how many we’d sell, but figuring even a few pallets would help. It could become a neat public relations moment and move a few berries.
We got to marketing and started telling the story of two farms helping each other out. We set-up our online store through Square because it was FREE and super easy – not much time invested.
I create programs on marketing, so I followed my own system and started turning up Facebook ad budgets to try to get things moving.
And, move they did. I called Drew once we sold two pallets of strawberry flats, and we verbally high-fived each other. A success! Then I called at 8 pallets, and 13 pallets, and 18 pallets, then the truck was full at 24 pallets.
The marketing plan WORKED. We drove people into the online store with a great strategy and a great story. They bought and bought and bought until we SOLD OUT. Total victory.
I called Drew on Friday, seven days from the festival, with the good news. That’s when Mother Nature and pandemic behavior combined to hit the proverbial fan.
Drew was experiencing record attendance and record sales as the pandemic rules – “everything fun shut down” and “farms are essential and can remain open” collided. Drew could barely keep strawberries on his own farm market shelves as people with nothing to do reached out to support his farm.
It was no one’s fault. The high demand was utterly unexpected and unprecedented. The whole point of my Drive-Thru Strawberry Festival was to help Drew move berries, and the entire market shifted within two weeks.
So here’s the situation:
Seven days from our festival, we’re sitting on pre-paid orders for over 2,000 flats of strawberries, customer cards already charged, and Drew’s fields are being emptied daily by his customers. Our plan went from “Help Out” to “SOLD OUT” in 2 weeks.
- What would you do?
- What’s the right thing to do?
- You’ve sold the story of helping each other, now what?
Think about your answers to those questions, and I’ll continue the story in the next email. Isn’t it fun to think about someone else’s problems instead of your own?
PS Want to know how we SOLD OUT our festival? Each day we’ll send you a one minute video with an encouraging thought to set your day out right. We call it 30 Days of Positive Energy and it’s completely FREE.
PPS Need some personal encouragement? Each day we’ll send you a one minute video with an encouraging thought to set your day out right. We call it 30 Days of Positive Energy and it’s completely FREE.