None of us welcome “hard” or even “soft” sales techniques in the middle of a crisis.

One much better approach was suggested by my friend Tom Snyder, managing partner at Funnel Clarity, in his recent Institute for Excellence in Sales webinar. When you reach out to current clients, reach out with empathy and friendliness.

Examples of questions could be:

  • How are you and your family doing?
  • Is there anything I can help you with in this crisis?
  • Our company has a lot of resources. Just let me know how we can help.

You could even consider putting a short version of these questions in the subject line of your email.

There is a second technique based on powerful neuroscience studies on “showing gratitude.” Before reaching out, think about what you are personally grateful for. As you think of your many blessings, the emotional part of your brain releases dopamine. We immediately feel better with a more positive attitude.

In addition, gratitude towards others increases activity in social dopamine circuits making social interactions more enjoyable. Expressing gratitude to the people you care about creates a positive feedback loop in your relationships with your family, friends, and customers.

So another way to reach out to current customers would be to express gratitude for what we are all currently grateful for:

  • The front line health workers
  • The amazing job biotechnology companies are doing to develop therapies and vaccines
  • The truck drivers
  • The ambulance drivers
  • The grocery store shelf re-stockers, etc.

Start your email with a sentence like this:

  • I am so grateful for my family/boss/our relationship/to have your company as a customer
  • I am so grateful for hard working front-line health workers supporting us.

Sample Email

Hi Betty,
Just checking in to see how you are doing. I am so grateful for the many people who are putting their health at risk for the rest of us, the front line health workers, the ambulance drivers and the grocery store re-stockers.

Call if you would like to chat.


It will get a response!

Read more on what sales must do NOW during COVID-19 >

About Author: Fred Diamond is co-founder of the Institute for Excellence in Sales, a member organization that helps sales leaders acquire, motivate, retain and elevate top-tier talent. He is the host of the award-winning Sales Game Changers podcast.