April 2, 2020


Crystal Washington: Hello, I’m Crystal Washington technology strategist and futurist.

Karen McCullough: I’m Karen McCullough, I want to get you excited about Change and learning about the Generations. And today we want you to Re-Think It Forward.

Crystal Washington: I’ve always sought ways to help the members of the group grow their businesses and grow partnerships. And as a result of that, they started coming to me for business as well. But I never promoted myself. And so similarly, you know, right now here we are, can, we’re in the middle of Covid-19 and we’re both of the meetings and events industry, right? So calculations coming out the ying-yang, we’re grounded, right? But start it from me. It’s like one of the busiest years I’ve had to date. Now my calendar’s cleared for three months. But what’s interesting about this is before the cancellations really started rolling in, Karen, I kind of had this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. And what I realized Karen, is I had a realization that as a keynote speaker, just like you, I’m, I’m, I’m very young and I’m extremely healthy.

Crystal Washington: And so I’m not concerned with catching the Covid-19 disease itself. Like I, I’m not too worried about the out outcome for me. But what occurred to me is that as someone who speaks to thousands of people a week, as you do, and then crisscrosses the country, I could, I could be the person passing this on to a numerable people and hurting people. Yeah. So once I had that realization, I was like, Oh gosh. So I started contacting my clients and saying, Hey, you know, I’m not going to cancel on you. I’m here for you, but if you find that you need to cancel, here are three ways we’re going to make this work, or we can take care of you. Whether it’s virtual options, whether it’s postponing it within this amount of time, whether it’s us doing a hybrid event, whether it’s me getting someone local for you to do something smaller in office, depending on the type of event.

Crystal Washington: So I already sent those emails out and gave them suggestions. Well, Karen, after the first major press conference that we had from the white house, really kind of encouraging people to do practice social distancing, right? You remember that all my clients started emailing me and saying, Oh my gosh, crystal, you know what? We’re so stressed out, you know the hotels holding us to this, or we’re trying to negotiate this, but at least with you, we know what we’re going to do. Can we go with option number two? Can we go with option number three? So I started looking for ways to be of help to them beforehand. Additionally, I made myself open to them for brain dumps. I was like, y’all need to brainstorm anything. Even past clients, just give me a call. I’m not charging. It’s, there’s nothing to this. I’m here to help you. Um, Karen, let me ask you a question. Are your clients stressed right now?

Karen McCullough: Yes. So while you have the insight, this is why I partner with her. Everyone. I am no dummy. I really didn’t, but I felt about six months ago, I got the feeling that I needed to be in to change some things. So I created an online course because I’m always looking for that shoe to drop. And I didn’t know it was going to be coven 19, but I was just feeling that I’d heard the word recession. Uh, really I had gone to national speakers, uh, meeting a year before and they talked about becoming recession-proof and I made a decision that when the word recession was in my head that I was going to be much more digital. So last April, I created my first online course, which I love doing. I’m thinking about doing another one. Um, but today, just as we’re talking, I got two calls from two bureaus, um, asking me if I would make kind of an uplifting video. One of them is in health care for all of their healthcare professionals and the nurses right now that they could just play, they want a series of fun things that they can do to help relieve their stress. So crystal, I didn’t think of it, but they’re calling me right now and I’m feeling like, wow, this is a time for us instead of self-selling to just take his breath back and start helping.

Crystal Washington: Well, and, and similar to that, not only have I been getting similar calls, but even when you talk about the client stress levels, you know, I know some of them are reverting to digital right now, but in addition to that caring, you know, one of the things that I noticed with some of them being stressed out is that I just started even sending gifts to them and that just standard gifts. But if I know that someone loves, I don’t know, sausage, you get sausage gifts from me. If I know you drink wine, I’m sending you wine if I know that you have. Okay, so I know to send you one here. If someone loves little Rascals, I send them a little rascal something, whatever. And so I think that this is the time where helping is not only making our brainpower available, not only being flexible but also just showing people we see them and we understand they’re doing their best and they’re stressed out too. Um, and Karen, I know you have some more examples of ways.

Karen McCullough: Well I was thinking about it when we started. We said we were going to talk about this, that we can do that, but I want us, I want to put a positive spin on this. I want you to begin. I listened to the news a lot even though I know I shouldn’t, but CNBC, I know cause I talk about stress, but CNBC really helps me understand what corporations are doing and companies are doing. And I have a list here today. It was just said that Uber eats is delivering 300,000 meals to healthcare professionals and first responders. Apple, Tim Cook is donating 2 million industrial masks to us and Europe. GM and Tesla are thinking about making ventilators and there’s a cool one, Kroger, Walmart, Walgreens, all the grocery stores are just the ones that are on the project. Excuse me. All the grocery stores that are in this plan are having Tuesdays and some Wednesdays and Thursdays, opening hours, seven to eight for seniors so that seniors don’t have to be in with all of those millennials.

Crystal Washington: I love that. Just general thoughtfulness. I think you know Karen, the key going forward for anyone listening right now is to not seize up and do nothing. We don’t want to go salesy. We so don’t, don’t just push the normal messaging you normally would. You have to adapt right now. You absolutely have to adapt. You cannot afford to get it wrong, but don’t seize up and go quiet either. Here’s your opportunity. Jot down some ways that you can start to reach out to people. Many of us are developing deeper relationships with our clients and our peers and our referral partners because everyone is on the same boat right now. And so take a few minutes to jot down ways that you can be a service, not asking for anything in return and start going through that address book and making those connections and letting people know you’re there for them

Karen McCullough: and when you’re out walking because everyone in my neighborhood is walking, wave to people, smile. Say hi, because we are here to spread kindness.

Crystal Washington: Okay? I think we can end on that note right now. Everyone knows now that we have to focus on those relationships as the key to going forward. And we also know now that helping is the new selling.

Karen McCullough: Thank you. Bye-bye.