Today a great leader in the furniture industry passed away. I am blogging about this sad topic because at some point we all face clients passing on. As difficult as this is for your clients’ company, it is also difficult for your organization. You must consider your staff’s involvement with this person and how their death impacts your company as business is very important. Certain questions arise regarding how the culture of their company will live on, who will manage their position and how will the company move forward from this point. Many of these questions can be answered by the age of the person and the abruptness of the death. For sudden and unplanned deaths, the shock can shake even a conservative company and cause a ripple effect throughout the organization. This can have adverse affects on production and eventually sales.
Of course we also think about how our business will be affected by this loss. Here is an opportunity to review how your company impacted them. Is your company in business just to be profitable, or are you here to leave an imprint on your community, your industry and your fellow peers? Are you here to change others lives and to influence, motive and cultivate an environment for higher thinking and enrichment? This great man has left me thinking about how my company impacts our customer’s business and lives. Looking at his life’s achievements makes me rethink my business goals and makes me want to be doing even more. Great men like Clyde Hooker, Jr. can certainly help us reflect on how to be better than we are.
How then, as a marketing partner, can we help our clients prepare and decrease the impact of death in regards to how it will affect their business? We often see a company stock plummet by just the sheer mention of the top CEO hinting at poor health [Sept 9, 2008 Apple’s founder Steve Jobs sick – stock falls] which begs the question of how do we protect our company from competitors, loss sales or falling stock prices during a sudden company tragedy like sickness or death?
Communication and planning. Putting a death strategy system [as morbid as that sounds] in place will help keep the organization on track during a company tragedy. A system should include a step by step action plan. The plan should detail what should be disclosed to the staff, vendors, suppliers, the industry and the customers. Determining what needs to be disclosed ahead of time could include: company direction, personal, intermediary strategies and product or service changes. Death is a terrible time for everyone. Incorporating a business and marketing strategy for how to handle the communication will decrease uncertainty and avoid confusion. For more information on how to develop marketing plans contact Princeton Marketing Group, ltd.