What Sally the hurricane taught us about setting expectations in sales and marketing

We live on the gulf coast.

It’s a beautiful place, quiet; I have written about the 200+-year-old live oak tree in the past.

We have lived in south FL too – Fort Lauderdale and Miami. We are no strangers to hurricanes.

But Sally was my boy’s 1st hurricane. I have twin boys who are 7, and while we just had Marco and Laura in the gulf, they didn’t bring us hurricane wind.

Don is particularly concerned with “natural disasters.” He doesn’t like the drills at school, and he says it “freaks me out Mama. I just think about hurricanes for days after the drill”.

Sally was coming in at a category 1 – my husband Chris and I have a pact to not stay for another 4 again, so at a category 1, we were sheltering in place.

We talked to the boys about “being ready.”

We set out

  • Flashlights & Lanterns
  • Generator
  • Gas
  • Non-perishable food
  • Water in the bathtubs to flush the toilets

All the furniture outside was put in the garage or tied down.

We had everything in place to ride out the storm.

We set the expectation with the boys that we were going to lose power. The first 72 hrs are on “us,” and then the line workers and everyone else will come to help.

Don and Dylan were ready.

The rain came first – a lot of rain. Water was being pushed in from the ocean and from the sky. The live oaks root system is pretty shallow, making them vulnerable to being toppled over when the ground is soaked and loose.

The wind started to howl.

Don said it sounded like people screaming on a rollercoaster. It did.

The windows rattled. He was scared but not “too scared, Mama. You told me this would happen”.

The electric went out next – we turned on the flashlights and started up the generator. We don’t have a big generator but enough to plug in the frig, so we don’t lose the meat in the freezer, plug in our phones and, of course, the most important – MAKE COFFEE!

We watched the storm blow our trees, move the furniture that was “tied down,” create new leaks in our roof, but the boys handled it all with calmness. They got buckets and pails to catch the dripping water; Dylan was on “mop duty” to wipe up the water we missed.

Everyone had a job, and we all got through it together!

Once the storm passed, we ventured out into the yard. LOTS of trees down. 100ft pine trees snapped in half, tons of live oaks toppled over. Dylan said, “I have always wondered what the tree’s bottom side looks like now, I know!”

Trees were blocking the ability to leave our neighborhood.

We live in an older community where about 50% of our neighbors are over 65. I got out my phone and started calling our older neighbors to make sure they were ok.

Chris grabbed his chainsaw and started cutting through trees that were blocking our neighborhood roads.

The boys got their toy John Deere tractor with the wagon, and we went behind Chris to help move limbs.

All the neighbors came out to help cut up and move trees off the road in case of an emergency that someone needed to leave, or the first responders had a way into the neighborhood.

We spent the day cutting, carrying, and piling branches and limbs. We stopped when it was starting to get dark. On the walk back to the house, Don said. “Mama hurricanes are bad, but the good part is everyone comes out and helps each other, so that is the good part of a hurricane. But I still don’t like Sally! She is terrible!”

Very astute, my little 7-year-old. Yes – everyone does help each other.

Lessons learned from Sally:

  • Set expectations – if your agency needs time to evaluate COVID patients – tell your referral sources why and how long.
  • Be Prepared – If you lack staffing in a specific area, make sure you know and be prepared with your communication message.
  • Help each other – Sales and Marketing is a “team sport” you and your ops team together are stronger and can move “trees off the road together!”

We are all Stronger Together!

Make it a great week!

Melanie

PS. If you want to “be together with us,” The RoadMap to Referrals is a great way to be “Stronger Together” Click here to jump on Mikes’s calendar to see a demo of how we help each other!

 

*Image from NBC News. All Rights Reserved.