Beep, Beep, Beep…Ahhh…, that soft calming sound of the alarm clock as it strikes 6am. It’s another day packed with customer visits and meetings. Slowly, I rise from my slumber and begin the process of getting ready for a productive day. I make my way downstairs and fire up my morning savior…coffee. Glancing at my watch, I realize I need to get going to beat the traffic on the Tobin Bridge heading into Boston. I hastily grab my day planner and keys and run out the door. I grab the car door handle and……suddenly rise from my bed, in a moment of panic, and give my eyes a minute to adjust to the morning light. I realize that it was all a dream. The only thing I must do is brush my teeth and head downstairs to my home office. I turn on the computer and start day 60 of COVID lockdown.
New ways to engage
The days of face to face customer visits and introductory handshakes have been relegated to a thing of the past. Now, we interact through LED screens for video meetings, cell phones and emails. Social distancing has become the norm for all sales reps. Although we as reps thrive on face-to-face interaction and the changing landscape of that drive between accounts, there is some significant positives that have come out of this lockdown.
Time for reflection
The adage of slowing down to speed up really takes center stage. We now have the time to really reflect on each of our accounts and analyze every aspect of their business. This helps identify areas that we can provide possible solutions to. Take allied products such as lift tables, stretch wrappers, battery changers, gravity conveyor, etc., for example. We may have overlooked these items during our regular customer visits in the past. Now we have time to reflect on how this pandemic has impacted our customer’s business. It also gives us an opportunity to reach out to each of them and offer words of support and comfort.
At the end of the day, we are all human beings and knowing that someone is there, ready and willing to offer support means so much. These are the times to further solidify existing relationships as well as building new ones. Emails, phone calls, and video meetings are very powerful tools in managing and growing your account base.
The road ahead
These are unprecedented and trying times and we will get through them. I never thought I would be saying this, but I can’t wait for the day a 10-mile drive takes 2 hours. At least I will be like Willie Nelson said, “On the road again.”