In spite of our current situation, industries are still producing, customers are still consuming, and many companies are sitting on piles of cash. Governments are providing more liquidity to the economy as well. In short: plenty of sales are still happening.
To begin understanding where you fit in, ask yourself some questions. Where do you want your business to be when the stormy weather clears? As a sales leader, can you communicate that vision to your customers? How are you communicating that right now? Above all, are you delivering consistently optimistic, credible and confidence-building leadership? You need to be the lighthouse among stormy and foggy seas.
What remains more obvious than anything else is pivoting to remote selling, which isn’t guaranteed to be a smooth transition. In order to be successful, here are my suggestions:
- Be aware of the backdrop. I recommend using natural light and an acceptable background within your home. You can also use an affordable technology like ChromaCam, which will blur it out for you, or if you’re in a pinch, purchase a greenscreen or photography backdrop from Savage Universal.
- Keep in mind just how much this shift is affecting others. How much has homeschooling changed how you or your colleagues are working from home? People are juggling their children’s needs, walking the dog, keeping up their exercise habits and juggling various workloads. These pose new challenges for everyone. It might not be best to merely focus on money and numbers, but others’ well-being and how they’re adjusting. Be patient.
- Successfully shifting your communication. Hey, we’ve all experienced a recent crash course in Zoom. At the same time, many of us have been using it so much we’re getting screen fatigue. So, be mindful about your modes of communication. You aren’t going to catch every word or discern every micro-facial expression, so there’s no harm in switching to text, email or voicemail at times. It might be a relief to not only you, but your prospects and colleagues as well, who are tired of staring at pixelated faces.
Just a few months ago the industry was focused on outside sales. Everything was in person. It was about boots on the ground. Now that commutes have been eliminated and everyone is working from home, most of us have recovered about 50% of our day. Considering trade shows and conferences are now off the table, perhaps even more!
These changes don’t only save time, but expenses. However, it’s important that you shift your focus from your cash flow and putting a Band-Aid on things to how you’re using your time and planning for successful future sales. For one thing, you should be making sure that you become more competent through sales training, and that you’re connecting effectively with your colleagues and customers under new circumstances and using different modes. Everyone needs help, and the difference between companies that get it done and the companies that barely survive is how they use their downtime to make these changes.