So now that we are in to second quarter of the year of the great decline, it is time to take a new look at things. As we do that, you can see both good news and bad news, what a surprise, and while we may not have a lot more clarity than we did at the start of the year, there is a sense of settling in to a new normal. This may be just a step up from the gloom and doom of the past few months.
The new normal is evidenced and supported by a couple of things I came across lately indicating that people are now tired of cutting and waiting and have realized or succumbed to the need to act and regain control rather than be simple spectators to their own demise.
I heard an interesting discussion at a business function I attended, where one industry expert was explaining how the current recession is different than recent ones we have experienced. Sadly I am at an age where I have experienced a few, as I think one of the challenges some have is that they have not had to sell through a sustained downturn. The expert was outlining that what we were living through was a “bathtub recession”, versus the “V bottom” recessions of recent past.
Bathtub describing the fact that rather than bouncing off the bottom and recovering with the same speed and steepness as the initial decline, we are going to be at a bottom for some time, hence the visual of the bathtub; down, long crawl at the bottom, then a steady upturn. The question then is what do you do with the long bottom, the new normal, once you realize there is no bounce?
The good news is that for real sales professionals the new normal is not a hard adjustment, it is just new proportions of things they should or are doing. What really becomes the key is doing it. There is no denying that in these days of budget freezes, cut back and complete inaction or paralysis in the market, doing it and how much you do of it has become more challenging. Making the only solution to change how you do things and how much of each thing you do, not what you do.
With that you get a lot of good debate as to how much you should prospect, how you may learn how the buyers buy, how to articulate the impact better, or how to better manage the base. All kinds of advice on all or some aspects of the sales cycle, but they all agree with the fundamentals of moving a client forward from lead to client; more importantly from the client’s perspective, moving from objective, to plan to success. The key is that both parties realize value.
So the new normal is good for two key reasons, the underpinnings of success do not change and with that there is base line to build from. Second every good crisis needs a name, as does the start of a new phase in the cycle. Generation after generation, Hippies, Disco, Yuppies, Gen X, Gen Y, (is there a Z yet?), and I bet each and every one had its own new normal.
Tibor Shanto – The Pipeline