Before continuing, I have to give credit to this phrase and important concept to Brent Adamson. Brent and I were having one of our frequent conversations about the future of buying/selling. We were discussing the pandemic and it’s impact on buyers and sellers.
We’ve seen our worlds turned upside down. We and our customers are re-inventing our business. We, mutually, are discovering new ways of buying and new ways to engage our customers.
As I speak with many business people, they reflect, then say, “It’s fascinating, this has caused us to rethink what we are doing. And we are discovering things that make us far more effective and efficient than we have ever been.
And it’s not just Zoom, Teams, or whatever video meeting platform you favor. Buyers and sellers (broadly–not just sales people) are discovering new ways to learn, new ways to collaborate, and new ways to move forward in achieving our goals.
But there are some that talk about what they’ve done, adding the phrase “For Now…..” These people see what we are going through not as an opportunity to learn, rethink, and change. They see the things that we have adopted as stopgap measures. They are looking for things to go back to “normal.”
They speak in terms like, “We’ve learned how to engage customers virtually, and that’s what we will do….for now….” “We have had to learn how to work remotely….for now….”
Implicit is the thinking that “when things go back to normal, we will do what we have always done…. but this is what we have to do ….for now….”
Of course none of this is new or different. It has been the history of selling, business, and even broader issues. We are driven to get things “back to normal.” In science, systems have an “equilibrium.” We are used to adopting stop gap measures that help us… for now…..
It may be the quarter-end Spiff, the emphasis program, the special marketing/demand gen campaign, the “prospecting days.”
More recently, we’ve seen headcount reductions, spending cuts, and other stopgap measures to help us….for now….
By contrast, one seldom hears the words, for now, with high performing organizations. They are constantly innovating, they are constantly thinking differently, they are constantly asking, “what if….”
Perhaps that’s the secret, what if we started thinking more in terms of “what if…”
Afterword: Thank you Brent!
After afterword: Stay tune, Brent and I recorded our conversation. It was wide ranging, talking about the future of selling, the impact of Covid, innovation and change. Brent and I talk about these issues frequently, I decided to start recording our conversations and let you eavesdrop. The first couple will be published in the next few days.