“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.” – William Ellery Channing
There isn’t anything that needs to be said about 2020 and how it affected the global economy. There are at least a million pieces of articles thrown around the internet.
So what can a sales guy write about business lessons during this pandemic?
Here are 7 of the valuable lessons for any business during this pandemic.
Your pipeline is your lifeline
It pays to be an ant–think winter all the time.
Businesses thrive on the ability to convert a handful of potential leads to real paying customers. Strong businesses have a solid pipeline to outlast business winters.
It starts with setting up goals regardless of how small or big your business is. If you want to generate a million dollars this year, have a 3X, i.e a 3mn dollar pipeline.
Even with a conservative 5% conversion, there is always some cash flow depending on the ticket size.
During recession or pandemics, your pipeline would give you the confidence of starting from something versus starting from nothing.
Dig the well, before you are thirsty– this aint cliched anymore.
A sales pipeline need not be always about revenue numbers, they could be about the number of customers you want to close in a given year or the number of logos you want to acquire.
Customers can play God
I remember, during March to May of 2020, our customers were going out of business and we could only think of the worst — complete closure of the business and loss of many more jobs.
And whichever customer managed to stay afloat was hanging by the bare thread, either not paying us on time or asking us to downsize the contracts.
Thankfully, some of my large customers, instead of cutting revenue or shrinking contracts decided to give us a “work from home” chance.
It pays to treat your customers like God when times are good because during stress, they can literally save you.
When things are going well, take care of their contracts, smallest of details and exceed their expectations–it’s like putting money into your savings account, you can withdraw when in need.
Your team is an asset
Self made is an illusion. Teamwork is existential .
Wish you could run things and be in control? Nope.
Your team should be the one who gets stuff done; you should just play the role of an enthusiastic cheerleader.
Guess, all the good karma of me standing by their sides all this while, listening and supporting them paid off.
My team stood by me by putting extra hours, taking salary hikes and doing things that weren’t part of their job profile.
Improve their skill sets, give them the autonomy to function independently and let them make few mistakes along the way sends the message that you are with them and you mean their success.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
It’s about mental toughness and the quality of your perceptions; after all it’s how we react to bad things happening around us that determine who we become.
You can’t anticipate bad events outside your home, forget about a global level pandemic.
I went back to the book “Stop worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie which has laid out powerful strategies to tackle events that we think are not conducive.
What is happening around me? What can I do about it? What will make me retain my inner peace? These are some of the fundamental questions that came to my mind when dealing with this crisis.
I also wrote this outlining some of my personal strategies for weathering this pandemic.
Wish it were easier. Nope. Wish you were stronger. This is such a profound statement to live a life.
Comfort has never created any champions but adversity sure has a great track record.
If we have survived this pandemic, we have grown a bit wiser, and a bit happier to whatever is happening around us.
Invest on your health
This is again cliched but it makes perfect business sense to invest in the most rewarding assets– your health.
This pandemic wasn’t about economic meltdowns or share market crashes but it was a breakdown of our immunity system to an unseen virus.
What else should motivate us than to build inner strength — mentally, spiritually and physically?
There is enough evidence suggesting higher immunity levels to counter COVID 19.
Physical exercise, meditations, taking in herbal supplements, staying happy and relaxing more is the perfect antidote not only for this pandemic but for an overall great life.
Invest on your family
The only constant in the entire variable called life, is my family.
They were there during my jubilations and they were there when I was knocked out.
Don’t vent out all the frustrations of your business and job because you can but treat them like a well manicured garden, where you can escape from the platitudes of life.
Bonds grow deeper during stressful periods and when everything around you seems to go south, take comfort in the fact that there is someone always available to trust you– your family.
My daughter was my inspiration during the peak of lockdown, telling me all the time, this shall pass away, and we shall see good times ahead soon.
Invest on your education
Again, what’s the asset class which can yield unlimited returns? You!
When was the last time, you got an idea, a brilliant concept or a spark of brilliance?
If the answer is a long time back, it’s time to invest..
Books, podcasts, masterminds, networking are the gyms for your personality.
You can’t grow in vacuum– you need ideas to nourish the spirit.
Short term courses to teach yourself a Side Hustle or a paid mastermind to hang out with people who are ahead of you are virtuous investments.
The more investment you make on yourself, the more you are telling yourself that you matter and your love yourself.
The more better a person you become, the better it is for the business, for society and your country.
Keep investing in yourself, because if you don’t believe in yourself, why would someone else will?
Pandemics are here to stay, they could just manifest themselves as different misfortunes.
Hope you liked these strategies– what were yours’s?