Uncertainty is the new certainty!
We’re all connected.
It’s why the 6 week lockdown also impacts businesses that supply products and services to Victorian businesses, market for them, buy from them, speak with them, learn from them …. as well as the thousands of Victorian small businesses, their staff and families. This is not just a Victorian problem or issue. When we “get this” viscerally, we can make fundamental shifts that will help us to deal with whatever comes our way.
Breathe…Assess…Decide…Act. But act!
Here’s what I mean…
ONE: Victoria is 25% of our economy
So the good news here for all businesses is that 75% of the economy is well and truly open for business, and not all of Victoria is closed. Salespeople: I’m speaking to you. Look a’ moy….
Opportunity, clients, prospects are still trading. The clincher is that you will have to work harder to find them, work harder to understand their world (when they’re trying themselves to understand it), and learn how to align your value with what matters most to them in order to secure the business. MANY SALESPEOPLE THINK THIS MEANS TELLING CUSTOMERS HOW VALUABLE THEIR PRODUCT OR SERVICE IS…IT ISN’T. TELLING ISN’T SELLING. STOP IT (and I’ll stop yelling at you)
Now is the time to strengthen your relationships with those doing it tough. Well, with your entire ecosystem in fact.
One of my clients spent time doing this in NSW. Slow, patient build. Initially supplying the business with samples of condiments to help them out. This customer was CONTRACTED to another supplier. She did it because she’d taken time to get to know them. She cared. THAT’s what showed up. This customer has since found a way to work with her because she’s a stand out. Bonus absolutely, but not the intent.
Be patient people. Play the long game. Now don’t get me wrong: 6 weeks of non-trading can spell the end for many businesses. I know some of these people: their businesses may not make it. We must do our best to focus on what we CAN do, rather than on what we can NO LONGER do. Then DO IT!
TWO: Learn the lesson from Victoria and be ready just in case.
This isn’t just for state or federal governments to think about, but for each of us working, leading teams or heading up businesses. Is it better to keep our teams working from home for the next 6-12 months so they have that certainty at least? Is it an opportunity to reduce the size of our offices to reduce overheads and to stop the to-ing and fro-ing caused by restriction shifts? Is this an opportunity to find ways to restructure and repurpose our people now so that our business is more flexible and resilient going forward? How can we think differently about resource sharing? Where are the gaps in our skills, systems and roles that we’ll need going forward? What work can we do to bridge those gaps, strengthen our offer, and improve our ability to shift and live to fight another day?
Don’t forget the lessons hopefully learnt. Remember no one has a manual for this. We’re all iterating as we go. But iterate we must. Take action, learn, iterate, reflect, repeat.
THREE: Build a culture of resourcefulness
Creativity emerges when we’re forced to do more with less. It just does, because it requires different thinking. When the economy is robust, businesses can get lazy…throwing money at problems instead of ideas. Tap into your people’s strengths to identify a different deployment opportunities. Recruit people who are inspired to “find a way” and start to move on those people who are unwilling to go outside of their job descriptions.
In times like these the words “that’s not my job” is too heavy to hear let alone carry.
Is it time to reconsider your business model? Is it time to reconsider your go to market strategy/approach/offer?
Is it time to onboard your existing team differently? Is it time to reset expectations?
Above all else, get support. Build your sales and business muscle now. Get in shape. No business can survive without sales – it’s the lifeblood of every enterprise.
How you generate sales matters more now than ever.