Fair to say, what is important to us today, is different to what was 3 months ago and different again, to what will be important to us 12 months from now.
It is the same for our customers. Whether our customer network consists of – clients, partners, members or patients – life has changed. As have priorities.
Along with the rest of the world, while we are all in the process of grieving for a life that was known & secure, remaining mindfully connected has never been more important. This includes to our customers, where we can.
How do we know what is and isn’t the right thing to do?
The true answer, given the unchartered territory we are in – is there is no rule book.
Being human is a good start and as leaders, we need to be careful not to assume our teams know what that means or how to apply it to their customers. They very likely will need to be shown the way.
We need to ask our commercial teams to be leaders of their customers, not their results.
In many businesses right now, the objective can’t be to transact sales because quite frankly, sales might not exist. We need to focus on what we do have and redefine success during this chapter as sales numbers take a back seat.
While generally an undercurrent within our day to day and often taken for granted,
customer engagement now has centre stage.
We are working in a time that requires a service mindset based on emotional engagement and whereby for many of us and our teams, a deep and selfless understanding,
that there can be no expectation of immediate return
As sales professionals and leaders, success will lie in our ability to connect & understand those we serve – their feelings, their needs, their concerns & the challenges they are faced with in this current environment. Our effectiveness will be facilitated by the questions we ask and hindered by the assumptions we make.
We need to put our “customer today” at the forefront of our conversations, not our customer from 3 months ago.
That is why we need to start at the beginning.
We need to respectfully connect with a compassionate mind. To see the world from our customer or partners perspective and understand why it matters – today. We can be a sounding board and a comforting voice. We can also offer an agile mind and collaborative mindset to commit to moving together into the future, in whatever way, shape or form that might be.
It is a reminder – we are in it together.
Lastly, more than ever, customers will be acutely tuned in to the people they want to be surrounded by.
Consider for a moment answering the questions:
As a sales professional or business owner, what is it you stand for?
What are the behaviours you need to adopt today to reflect your response to the above?
This is the time to shine a light on how we want to be described as sales professionals and commercial leaders by our customers and colleagues.
The meaningful connections we strengthen today, will foster trust and loyalty. This will matter when our success measures return to the numbers.
Current events are a timely reminder for all, we don’t have sales without customer relationships.
Never forget the people behind the number.