Recent research, by Google, indicates COVID-19 lockdown created a platform for us to engage with our health. It allowed people who stayed home to exercise more. Health professionals have drawn attention to why our overall health matters and how getting into a healthy “normal” range can make fighting COVID-19 off easier. When South Africans were let out of their homes for the first time to exercise for a few hours, the floodgates opened and everyone was walking. Six months later, enthusiasm and activity have waned significantly. Old habits have returned particularly where the new ones required a lot of effort. The increase in the purchasing of healthier foods i.e. organic, vitamin-rich, locally sourced remains on the up (it’s easy to buy health) but the new diet and exercise programmes have been abandoned (it’s harder to find time and energy to live health). 

With such a focus on health, why didn’t this change stick? Because sustained change is hard, it disrupts our lives. When we decide to change, we become aware that we aren’t where we want to be and that can bring disappointment and fear. The old adage of “ignorance is bliss” still holds merit. The change may be necessary but the process of change isn’t always pleasant. 

So, if you are in an industry that requires a change to be made, and most of us are, how do we help our customers make the transition? 

We have to paint a picture of the end as worth it.

The benefit has to outweigh the comfort of “here”, where they are now. 

My biokineticist, Bryce Jackson, regularly reminds me that I’m not doing another set of squats because they are fun but so I can ride my horse better. I don’t do my ankle exercises because they feel good, I do them so when I walk out over uneven terrain, I’m less likely to sprain them. The benefits of sticking with the change I’ve made are that I can keep doing the things I love doing, I feel passionate about, and that gets me back into a weekly appointment with him. It is what I tap into when my willpower waivers. 

Here are a couple of the questions to ask yourself to identify things you can incorporate into your marketing message to help your customers through change:

  • What is the better world you are creating for your customers? When they have your product or have experienced your service, how will they feel? What would they say to a friend about it over a cup of coffee? For example, I may say, “I can’t believe how much better my seat is when riding my horse, I am able to ride for much longer now and with far better balance than before.” when recommending Bryce.
  • What fear or disappointment might they experience in their sales journey with you? How can you alleviate or relate to it? The fear and disappointment are real, we can’t make it go away but we can reassure them that we understand it and that connection builds trust. When I trust someone, I can be led through fear. For example, Bryce has to reassure me, a lot, that there is progress being made. My inability to do certain exercises or balance the way I want makes me feel vulnerable and realise I’m not as young or fit as I used to be. I have new weaknesses now. The exercises he includes and the way he adapts my programme tells me he gets it, he knows how I feel and he can be trusted to get me where I want to be.

The next week we will be the last in our series of COVID-19 trends that are here to stay! We’d love to hear what you thought and which trend most interested you!