Tim wrote a LinkedIn article on how the spread of Covid-19 was driving us all online (you can read it here) and it made the observation that without the fact-to-face meetings for prospecting though events at indeed at the end of a deal, how can you actually close any business?
Part of the issue here is that we all have an expectation of that face-to-face element – I meet you at an event, we hook-up for a coffee, you introduce me to your boss after our meeting, and for the foreseeable future this probably isn’t going to happen.
Businesses are increasingly saying “we are cancelling all travel, meetings and use of offices.” Whilst this is a great potential period of relaxing for people for a few days or a couple of weeks, we could be looking at a period of several months of this and even the most cash rich and secure of businesses will struggle paying your salary (and everyone else’s) for 3 months of there’s no money at all coming in.
Now, you might argue that this won’t happen, that things will be back to normal in a couple of weeks…but are you prepared to bet your career, your house, your future on this? If you get it wrong it might take you many years to recover the ground you lose. If however you use this as a chance to begin to operate in a slightly different way it could give you a significant advantage on your competitors.
I think the reality is that we should have been moving our prospecting, account development and pipeline management online anyway. With CO2 emissions being a major cause for concern travelling to meetings is less acceptable than it used to be and now the arrival of Covid-19 has made this prospect a pretty scary possibility for many. I say that because even if you’re “brave” and are prepared to make the journey it’s highly possible that those you are trying to meet won’t be impressed.
You need to develop a “new” way of doing things. Will all of your sales processed in the same way if you don’t go to meetings? Probably not. Will you be able to replace those that don’t if you develop a successful online prospecting culture? Possibly.
Whatever happens though, we are at a stage when we all need to do something and if a supplier to me said “I am taking the initiative and not having any more face to face meetings but am engaging with everyone online, whether I liked it or not I would respect them trying to “do their part.”
It’s is possible to do this we’re happy to chat to you about how you can do this (not a sales ploy) simply to try and help.