Many of us in sales lately may have resigned ourselves to the fact that we are grounded with this quarantine and there isn’t much left to do but wait it out and stay in touch with our clients. Now, salespeople tend to be a very tenacious breed and have a hard time sitting still under any condition. So, telling you to relax and enjoy the downtime would speak very little to your anxieties about the future, your career and your income. If all we can say at this moment is, ‘it-is-what-it-is’, how will we know when the light is green to go back out and sell?
To answer this question depends greatly on your company, your industry, and your sales cycle. The real question is more along the lines of how will we know when the market is ready to hear from us again? Let’s face it, the week that everyone goes back to work will be quite surreal. People will be turning their computers back on in the office for the first time in what will probably be months. They will be focused on restocking inventory, reconfiguring their cashflow and just dealing with the culture shock from having worked from home to being back in an office setting. It would be reasonable to think that they may not have the time nor the patience for you prospecting on their first week back. Unfortunately, we do not have a road map for this scenario since none of us have ever been through something like this, but we do have our common sense.
Almost everyone will continue to be worried about their jobs and companies long after we return to the office, and there will most certainly be a new normal, but there will also be a longing for the way things were. Most importantly people will want to be assured that everything is going to be okay and the standard stream of consciousness is business as usual. Hearing from you may actually be like a breath of fresh air. You are the sign that the world is ready to get back in business. Everyone will be back out hunting hard and digging deep for sales and cash. We, as salespeople, will be like children in an Easter egg hunt making a mad dash and scrambling to grab as many eggs as we can quickly for that first month. So, you better get your basket ready.
As a general rule, I would suggest giving the market a week to recover from returning from the office after having left behind the comforts of their home. Any later than this and you may miss out on the sales Easter egg hunt. Any sooner and you may be quite discouraged by your lack of audience. Just remember to proceed in confidence. The virus may have changed the world, but it did not change the fact that people still need your products and services. You gotta sell your way through the good times and the bad times, and the good times are just around the corner.