Here we are. Month six of this odd coronavirus time. At this point I think it is safe to say this "new" normal has become the normal.
Settling into the quarantine and coronavirus life was a very drastic and, truthfully, difficult transition. As parents, in the beginning we found ourselves telling the kids to "be flexible," "this is all new," "we are doing our best" time and time again.
These same conversations are coming up in our house as we approach back to school. Explaining to our children, whether they are actually re-entering a building or virtually, that this school year will be very different than in the past and they need to "be flexible," "be understanding" and to "try your best" is daily occurrence.
The words we as parents use to surround and frame certain situations and experiences make all the difference in the world. Despite their ages and life experiencing children can sense whether our thoughts and phrases are positive or negative. If we give even the worst expected experience some positive phrases and supportive coaching, it can help them create a proper perspective. The same idea is absolutely true for the new sales reality and moving forward during the pandemic.
As you approach your work everyday are you aware of how you are framing your conversations? Are you flexible, understanding, resilient? Have you gotten past the point of saying to yourself "I can't wait until we return to normal?" What I think we are learning is there may never be a true "return to normal" and this shift in business will probably be our new, new normal.
As Charlie and I talk with our network of current clients, past clients and business relationships all over the country we are hearing many of the same things from different industries and very different people. We have had many conversations about motivation, scheduling, changing attitudes, effective communication and overall challenges of selling in this new environment.
Here are a few ideas, keywords and phrases we offer to you to stay on track with the current state of selling affairs:
- Selling is still selling. While your routines may have changed you still have one job- collect decisions. Don't let the change in venue or technology throw you off your game.
- Being flexible is one thing, but it is time to adapt and overcome. The term flexible is about bending and not breaking and returning to the original shape. The thing is- we might never return to that original state. Instead of being flexible, try to adapt to the changes put in front of you and overcome the obstacle.
- Get used to change. Find a way to embrace the constant change that many are experiencing. If your world hasn't been impacted too much- good for you! Embrace that. Enjoy that. Yet, be aware that many you are dealing with could be significantly impacted. They may NEED YOU TO CHANGE to help them with the changes they are dealing with. I sometimes think big changes didn't happen all that often. Maybe once a year. Now, big changes can be felt many times a month or a week.
- You are worth it. The efforts you are putting in and the decisions you are looking to collect are for your benefit because you are worth it.
- Be deliberate. Be deliberate with your time, your requests and your words. It is very easy to request meetings out of habit now. Is that meeting request really needed? Can meetings over Zoom return to email or phone call correspondence? Know what time you actually have to give to a project, a client and yourself. We've heard many expectations have changed, as "everyone" thinks everyone else is sitting at desks all day and wants responses in half-a-second. Do not allow yourself to get stuck in a response hole and off-task from other important projects or prospecting. As I've already stated above- words matter. Words matter to those you are working with but just as important are the words you say to yourself. Be kind to yourself and others.
- Restart. You can always restart. Restart your effort. Restart the next day. Do not hold onto perceived failures and carry them with you. Restart fresh and move forward. These times and changes can be difficult so give yourself some space to make mistakes and restart again.
What words and phrases have you embraced during these changing times? What did we miss? We would love to hear from you. Share on our LinkedIn or Facebook pages today.