If you have been a B2B Sales Connections blog or email newsletter subscriber for a while, you will know that we used to practice a very predictable schedule for publication. You may also have noticed that we have been pretty quiet on that front lately. The reason for that is life unexpectedly threw me a curve ball last Fall when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and have been on a reduced work schedule ever since.
As the direction of my treatment is now changing (the news is all good), we are starting to ramp things back up and you can expect B2B Sales Connections to return to our usual publication schedule shortly. In the meantime, I thought I would share with you some of what I have learned over the past few months about preparing for life’s inevitable curve balls, from a business perspective.
- You need a back-up. If you could not do your job today on a moment’s notice, whom would you trust to handle your key accounts? Does that person have a contact list? Do they know which prospects have sales that could close in the next 30, 60, or 90 days? Yes, lost sales prevention in the event of disaster is one of the reasons both sales managers and sales people alike should be using detailed sales reports on a regular basis.
- Nothing can cost you more business than customers and prospects who want to get a hold of you but can’t. Should something happen unexpectedly, set your auto email responder and change your voice mail so everyone knows whom to contact in your absence. Taking this a step further, someone you trust like your sales manager should have access to your passwords in case they need to do this for you.
- Be like a news caster when delivering bad news to a client like a hefty price increase or product discontinuation. Be prepared, stay calm, state the facts, and then discuss the plan of action for the future. You can’t control how they react to the news; you can only control how you deliver it.
- Nobody ever went to their grave wishing they spent more time at the office. If you are working too many hours in a day, change. If you are in management, learn to delegate better. If you are in sales, learn to work smarter so that you are more effective in your sales activities. Not sure if this applies to you? If business came to a complete standstill when you took your last vacation, then yes, this applies to you. Can’t remember when you took your last vacation? Then absolutely this applies to you.
- Attitude really does matter. In sales or a job search, rejection is just something you are going to have to deal with. If you let it get you down, it shows to everyone you meet, including your customers, your potential employers, your colleagues and your family. Don’t let a negative attitude become your worst enemy. There is always a bright side, so find it.
It’s not a matter of whether life will throw you a curve ball, it’s a matter of when. You need to be prepared. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And remember, when your curve ball comes, swing for the fence! More motivational quotes here.