We are in the first full week of our “New Normal.”
As we all work to get our footing and adapt to these unforeseen circumstances, let me pass along some positive observations along with more encouragement for maintaining a level of sales momentum during this crisis. And as I preach this positivity, please know that in no way am I making light of this pandemic, the magnitude of either the health or economic risk we face, or the reality that many people amongst and around us are suffering deep pain and uncertainty.
Amidst the chaos and Coronavirus Craziness, here is encouragement for you:
Prospects and Customers Are Taking Calls and Sellers Are Having Better and Longer Conversations. Contrary to popular belief (and the very few jerks on LinkedIn inappropriately scolding salespeople for doing their jobs), sellers are having significant success connecting with existing and prospective clients. I was hearing this over and over last week as I checked in with various sales teams and received countless messages from salespeople I don’t know but who read my content. Tons of comments on this LinkedIn post, and message after message in my inbox, like the one below, were just the proof and encouragement many sellers needed…
"My phone call answer rates have gone up 5x in the last few days. Majority of calls are now answers not voicemails. Additionally, my calls have been 2x longer because people just want to talk."
The Dust is Settling on the Transition from Freedom to Lockdown Mode. I know we are still very early in the crisis and this virus has a long way to grow/spread/wreak havoc, but we (we meaning salespeople and customers) are getting our bearings as the dust settles. The past week was really hard. This transition from our old normal to this new normal was jarring. As we begin to settle in and adjust and acclimate to operating in this new (temporary) environment, we will do what we need to do. Your prospects still have challenges and desired outcomes and you still have potential solutions for their challenges and desires. It’s in everyone’s best interests that commerce goes on. So, don’t throw in the towel or throw yourself a pity party. Instead, accept that this is the hand you’ve been dealt, embrace today’s reality, take a deep breath, and get to work. As I wrote to you last week, it’s not just your job; it’s your duty…to yourself, your company, your customers, and possibly even your country.
Seek Positive, Productive Inputs and Avoid the Doomsday Hysteria. I noticed three different times the past few days that when I read or watch business news, I get encouraged and my attitude and my energy improve. However, when I turn on news news (CNN for example) the exact opposite occurs. I’ve also observed that every time I speak with a client senior exec or someone in the sales improvement industry I respect, I can’t wait to get back to My WHY – helping sales leaders and salespeople win more New Sales.
I’m reading and listening to colleagues that are creating tremendous value for others right now – from Jeb Blount’s Coronavirus Talk podcast episodes, to Anthony Iannarino’s and Jeff Bajorek’s Sunday newsletters, to Mark Hunter’s simple LinkedIn video message with the powerful image of landscaping work in the parking lot at a closed shopping center – all of these messages are on-point and pointing salespeople the right direction.
That landscaping video from Hunter was so powerful. It was a great example of what we should be doing as salespeople – tending to the ground that’s been entrusted to us, working now to maximize business later, making ourselves as attractive as possible to potential customers, etc.
Along the same lines of increasing positive inputs and blocking out hysteria, my family “attended” an online church service Sunday morning. The pastor’s message challenged us in two important ways. First, it reminded us of Truth we needed to hear amidst all the noise in our disrupted lives, and second it warned us to “guard our imagination” and not allow destructive thoughts and fear to derail us. Sales friends, those principles are completely applicable for sales leaders and salespeople operating during Coronavirus Craziness. Let’s remember and execute the basics of sales and sales management that have always been true, and let’s guard our minds from going down unproductive and destructive paths pondering worst case scenarios.
A Personal THANK YOU:
In the past week, I received more emails and messages of thanks for the content I posted than I can count. I’m humbled and beyond grateful for the affirming words. Readers and followers sent enough appreciation for my helping to carry them through this crisis to carry me for months. Several of the notes brought me to tears and I did my very best to personally reply, but I simply could not keep up. I ask for your forgiveness if you received a generic reply to a heartfelt note you included with a LinkedIn invite and I’m truly sorry if you didn’t get a reply at all. I was simply overwhelmed by the volume of messages. Thank you for encouraging me as I work to encourage the sales community.
Why I Haven’t Rushed to Sell You Online Training and Content:
Several have asked why I’m not pushing our online content hard, especially in light of how many of my speaking events and live client workshops have been postponed. I love the question and am glad so many are asking.
Here’s my take: I’ve intentionally resisted pushing our online video coaching series (both New Sales. Simplified. & Sales Management. Simplified.) and other online training and meetings as Corona Craziness has set in. I wanted to let execs and sales managers get through this transition into “lockdown mode” and get their footing before rushing to pitch “the perfect fix for what’s needed right now!” So, instead of pitching, I’ve simply been doing the same thing I have been preaching to salespeople: making contact, demonstrating empathy, listening and encouraging those who need it, while, behind the scenes, having nonstop dialogue with clients about how to lead their teams through the crisis.
Be assured, I’ll be back very soon with some amazing offers and new packages we’re creating for sellers and sales managers along with powerful, new online offerings to help with prospecting and sharpening your sales story/messaging.
However, if you are looking for help right now, contact our team for a discovery conversation and we’ll get you started right away increasing sales and sales management effectiveness with the right combination of practical, powerful video content and remote online sessions led by me.