With few exceptions, salespeople across the world are trying to find their “new normal” in these complex and unprecedented times. The system we once took for granted has been upended by the pandemic and the resulting safety measures instituted by governments to keep its spread at bay.
But despite the lockdowns and supply chain disruptions, many of the fundamentals that we’ve grown to rely on remain the same. For salespeople, this is true as well, even if it feels like chaos and uncertainty reign supreme.
In difficult times, it can be a reassuring to take a step back and realize there are things we can always count on.
For salespeople, here are five things that haven’t changed during the pandemic:
1. There are resources available
You’re not an island, even if it feels like that more than ever these days. Whether you’re staying busy, have slowed down, or are at a complete standstill, there are plenty of resources to help you maximize your time.
Your management team, of course, is the most critical resource, but there are blogs, training materials, online communities, and trade publications that can help keep your skills fresh and allow you to stay up to date on the latest in your industry. Make good use of this time.
2. Trust is key
In normal times, trust means the difference between a closed deal and a lost one. Not only is this still true, it’s more important than ever as people look for guidance from those they can rely on.
You build trust by listening, being reliable, and telling the truth, even if it doesn’t benefit you. Taking the time to build trust, and always behaving ethically, will pay dividends now and when things eventually get back to normal.
3. The fundamentals of business
There’s no doubt the world economy is in disarray as layoffs and shut-downs wreak havoc in industries big and small. But, except for the pandemic itself, this chaos is man-made, and not the result of uncontrollable market forces.
While this point of view might be considered overly optimistic, there’s no evidence to show that the fundamentals of business have changed. Products that provide value will still be in demand once that demand is no longer constrained by outside forces. The fundamentals remain the same.
4. The challenge
Salespeople have long faced nearly insurmountable odds. Before social distancing, salespeople were tasked with challenging quotas that pushed the boundaries of what was possible.
Now, those challenges have grown, but fundamentally, nothing has changed. Salespeople still need to push the boulder up the mountain with the odds stacked against them. Only now, the mountain is steeper, and the boulder is heavier.
5. Relationships still matter
Sales has been, and will remain, a people business. We live or die based on our ability to build relationships – some quickly, and some over long periods of time.
Keep that in mind as you navigate this period of uncertainty, and remember that you don’t always reap what you sow right away – it can take months or even years. This is the ideal moment to start building those relationships. Difficult times can bring people together, and if you’re willing to be patient and look at the big picture, you might plant some seeds now that will eventually blossom into something wonderful.