Nobody knows what will happen once we open the economy up again, but one thing is for sure. Business as usual it won’t be. Only the companies and executives who understand that this is a challenge as well as an opportunity will be able to succeed.
The best way to go about moving forward is to look at this as a blank slate. If we go into this 3rd quarter, treating is as such and doing all the things we did in the previous years, we will fail. This is a new environment and it’s a great opportunity to start from scratch. Yes, I know. It might be painful because it’s so much easier to just plug away and apply proven methods, but approaches that worked in the past won’t cut it any more.
People are looking for compassion, empathy and alignment. All things that successful sales people already apply, but in this novel situation sales people who pitch without regard for these new conditions will not only fail, they will become obsolete. If we as sales people can help our clients and prospects through this crisis without pushing an agenda, without selling but rather advising, those clients will be loyal to us for a long time. So, let’s break it down a bit on how we should shape the landscape.
It’s a lot easier to continue on a proven path, or to wait until things become better than taking action. True leaders will seize this opportunity. They will not wait around, but they will pave the path for a new economy.
If everybody just sits around waiting until “this is over”, it won’t be!
Every good sales person is curious, but the key will be to be curious without pushing an agenda. These days it will be all about your client’s and prospect’s world, understanding what they are going through, what challenges they face and how YOU as the sales person can support them.
First and foremost, we need to show authentic empathy. Nobody wants to be sold to and this couldn’t be more accurate during this crisis. We need to show that we care, that we will do whatever it takes and to truly partner with our clients. This means an even deeper understanding of their challenges and their business. Many of our clients and prospects are in a situation where they had to change their business model to stay afloat, so learn about those challenges by asking meaningful and mindful questions.
If we are in a position where we can provide guidance to our clients, we will be viewed as experts, as partners as somebody who truly cares. It takes a lot to become an expert. We need to keep abreast of industry developments and of economic changes, so there will be a lot more reading, doing research and digging as opposed to picking up the phone or shooting off an email.
Some industries are still flourishing and there is new business to be found, but we won’t find it the way we found it last year or the years before. Strategic planning will become essential. No more throwing things against the wall, waiting until something sticks. Without the underlying principles of compassion, empathy and strategy, nothing will stick.
Pay It Forward!
It’s time for all of us to band together and pay it forward. To expect less and do more. To provide solutions that are profitable yet meaningful, to partner with our prospects and clients to help each other be successful. If we as people and as sales people band together, we can get this economy moving again, but it will not only take a village, it will take an entire business community to shift their thinking.