The government has stepped in and shut down pretty much everything from schools, movie theaters, bars, gyms, and restaurants. There are talks of curfews or even the possibility of a full lock down and millions of Americans are already forced to work from home while they struggle to make sense of everything. There is so much out of our control and as a sales rep, you have some choices to make the next several days (possibly weeks) while your prospects and customers are adjusting to the new norm. You can either spend time during self-quarantine to sit on the couch and watch countless hours of Netflix and Hulu or you can take this time to improve yourself, get ahead of your competition, and stay sharp.
Here are what the "A Players" are doing...
1. Sales Training
Most companies have an abundance of online training material at your fingertips. Use this time to learn more about your product, value prop, and competitive intelligence. Mix it up by taking online training courses from Coursera which has thousands of options in business or learn from someone famous via a Masterclass. Sales training will help you stay present in your work life and arm you heavily for when prospects and customers are ready to listen again.
For Example: I recently took a sales training on a better way to do sales demo and it was hugely beneficial.
"Learning never exhausts the mind." - Leonardo da Vinci
2. Prospecting Pre-work
It's highly unlikely your prospects are going to take a sales call this week as they adjust to the new norm of working from home and scramble to get things like toilet paper and milk. However, this doesn't mean you have to avoid prospecting efforts altogether. There is a lot that goes into prospecting besides the call itself so I'm giving you a tip to prepare yourself for when these sales calls will be receptive again.
Here is my pro tip:
First, put together a list of all the prospects you want to go after and build a spreadsheet
Second, supplement this list with information that will make you highly effective:
Full contact information of prospect
List out industry partners you know who have sold to your prospect before and include their contact info to your sheet. Hint: since they are in sales too, this would be a good time to reach out since business is slow for them as well.
Go to your prospect's LinkedIn profile page and gather up useful info such as their job responsibilities, job history, recent activity, mutual connections, etc.. Add this info to your spreadsheet.
Research the company your prospect works for and find out what's trending in their industry, what challenges they are faced with, and how your solution could possibly help. Add some of these notes to your sheet.
Start actually writing the emails you plan on sending them and save in your outbox. This will save you a ton of time in the future and move at a faster pace.
3. Reading / Listening to Books
Order a couple of self-improvement books on Amazon or download them on Audible. You have heard it a million times; the smartest, wealthiest, and most successful people in the world are avid readers.
10 books that I recommend for sales reps:
Extreme Ownership - Jocko Willink
The Secrets of Closing the Sale - Zig Ziglar
Can't Hurt Me - David Goggins
Unfu*k Yourself- Gary John Bishop
Sell it Like Serhant - Ryan Serhant
The 10X Rule - Grant Cardone
Start with Why - Simon Sinek
Make Your Bed - William H. McRaven
The Power of Broke - Daymond John
Never Split the Difference - Chris Voss
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr Seuss
4. Listen to Podcasts
There are a ton of podcasts out there that are targeted for salespeople. Spend some time learning some tips from pros on how you can improve your sales game. When business turns back on you will hopefully have a couple new tips to use for a faster sales rebound.
Here are 3 of my favorites:
5. Exercise & Stay Healthy
Gyms have closed their doors to the public and for how long is still uncertain. This gives a lot of people an excuse not to keep exercising. For those who don't exercise to begin with - this Coronavirus Pandemic should be the biggest sign of your life to change your ways. The most severe cases we've seen (if you take out the elderly) are impacting folks that have pre-existing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung problems. Guess what leads to heart disease, diabetes, and lung problems to begin with? Eating like shit, not exercising, and not taking care of yourself (i.e. smoking).
Take an hour break each day from all the negative spread of information and do something positive for your mind and body by exercising. Since you can't go to the gym, here are three "Self-Quarantine" workouts you can do that are indoors:
Want to get outdoors? Great! Go for a run and listen to a podcast or audible book on the way. Knocks down two birds with one stone.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” - Henry Ford