Moving Forward While Grounded
Posted on April 30, 2020 by Joan Lombardo
Welcome to the first Boston Centerless blog. As we begin this journey, we hope to provide you with useful, interesting and even fun information that will fuel your brain and put a smile on your face.
Several weeks ago (seems like months), when we were first faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, immediate changes to our sales operations became necessary. I didn’t have the luxury of planning and then implementing change, rather I had to react to the changing world around us. I was tasked with converting our outside sales team into an inside sales team right away.
We were all “grounded” - no flying, no driving. And even if we could travel, most of our customers weren’t open to appointments. I began thinking not only about what had to change, but also what opportunities would there be for us with additional time in the office? What positive changes could I make with my team?
First and foremost, as a leader, I had to become a beacon of calm, hope and confidence. Hope and confidence were the easy ones, calm was a bit more difficult as it is not a word typically used to describe me. Remaining calm in this situation would be the biggest challenge for me.
It became very important for me to meet with my team each day via video conference to check in and set priorities. Having the daily video conference not only allowed me to see my team each day, but also helped our team become familiar with the technology of video conferencing as it is the new way of conducting business.
A successful sales team depends on attitude, behavior and technique. Attitude is the why, the philosophy of beliefs; behavior is the what, the goals and the plans; and technique is the how, the tactics to complete the task. Fine tuning these characteristics will help drive momentum within a team and create opportunity for growth.
Rather than become fearful and anxious, we must keep a positive mindset and revise our behaviors. We’ve had to stop networking events, in-person appointments, and business travel. But what we can do is video conferencing, social selling, cold calling and emailing, and thought leadership (using social media to generate conversations) to solidify customer relationships. This is a great time to strengthen the bonds with both customers and prospects. Take advantage of the time we have now to grow those relationships.
We all have had to make big changes to how we work, and we will continue to evolve during this time. It’s easy to become complacent in our jobs, and it is my job to insure that doesn’t happen, not only to my team, but to me as well. When we are all going 100 mph all the time, we can miss a lot. It’s time to focus on what we CAN do, not what we CAN’T do. Tough times can be an opportunity to focus on things like learning a different way to prospect, embracing technology, discovering new ways to motivate and changing the way we sell for the future.
Stay safe, stay healthy and keep moving forward. We are all in this together.