I got a call from a dear friend and colleague who retired a few years ago. While I follow her international travels through her Facebook posts, we haven’t seen each other in years. We reminisced about the projects and meals we shared, and then she said, “How about if we get together for lunch? I know a great place with outdoor seating.” We put a date and time on the calendar. I couldn't wait!
However, as the day for this get-together grew nearer, I noticed my growing dis-ease.
I had just heard from another colleague who told me that he, his wife and young child were all sick with COVID. He has some ideas about how he got infected. His perfectly healthy pastor visited his home on the way back from delivering his daughter to college. They were careful to maintain a 6-foot distance. A few days later the pastor was sick. He also shared an outdoor restaurant meal with a friend who was well at the time who went on to lose his sense of taste. Fortunately, everyone made an uneventful recovery.
I flashed to my experience at the grocery store that day. I saw a woman pick up a peach, evaluate it and then put it back. I wondered how many times my hands came in contact with the COVID virus.
My friend is a two-time cancer survivor who is at high risk for a bad outcome if she got infected. I called her and said, “As much as I want to see you, I’m unwilling to take the risk of exposing you to my COVID exposures.” We agreed to postpone our lunch plans until we knew it was safer.
Unfortunately there is little data about the true risk of getting on an airplane or sharing a restaurant meal or sitting across the conference table from your client.
However, you and your prospects and clients and family all have a perception of the risks of any given activity. In general the familiar feels safer.
How do you decide whether to get knee-to-knee with prospects and clients to support your business growth? Here are some tips: