Many of us in the retail world are experiencing one of the worst-case scenarios of our scariest “what if” questions. What we are currently living is worse than losing a job… In many cases, we’re losing our ability to do the job and asking ourselves “what now?”.
Once allowed back into our showrooms, shops and stores, the question becomes, “What am I going to do?”
This is What Now
As professionals, we need to come to the realization that what was successful in the past may or may not be successful in the new present. More important, we need to be prepared to pivot the moment we realize old practices no longer work.
We also need to understand our customers and clients have become much more comfortable working without us. Their increased comfort with the internet, AI and chat boxes means we need prove that value that we brought in the past had worth and, in addition, we need to show a new, recognizable value proposition.
Embrace The Change
So, what can you do to prepare for this new environment? You need to embrace the commitment to change your mindset, improve your skill set and upgrade your behaviors.
In earlier blog posts we’ve discussed the importance of an open mindset. Now you need to be open to the changes required to be successful in this COVID-sensitive selling environment. Having this open mindset, by definition, means recognizing that you don’t have all the answers.
This open mindset allows you the freedom to look at your partners and co-opt any tools they are successfully using. This new mindset gives you the permission to ask for help. This open mindset is the tool to help you learn the things you don’t know and discover things you couldn’t imagine.
This new mindset will drive you to revisit your selling skill set. You may recognize that you need to improve or add to your current skill set. There’s no greater waste of time than revisiting a skill training when you believe there is nothing for you to learn. That attitude is a function of the closed mindset. The open mindset gives you the humility to sit down, focus, and determine what you know, don’t know and can know better.
This COVID environment will also challenge you to behave differently. This involves more than not shaking hands or trying to express yourself behind a face mask. This requires developing new disciplines in your work life. This demands new habits that will lead to new success.
These new behaviors include activities like entering data into your CRM immediately after a meeting. These new behaviors can be emotional, like trusting your leaders and their recommendations. Each of these behaviors are personal…things you need to do to improve your outlook and opportunity.
This pandemic has officially moved 2020 from the “what if” column squarely into the “what now” column. The stakes are dramatically higher, with the path to success more narrow and treacherous.
As Senator John Kennedy commented in a 1959 speech, when written in Mandarin, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters – one represents danger and one represents opportunity.
The actual translation is more appropriate for this time. The word for “crisis” is, indeed comprised of two characters: one representing danger and the other a changing point.
This is, in fact, a moment of crisis. Be aware of the dangers and recognize and take advantage of this”what now” time of change.