Are you prepared for life’s curveballs? If not, you should be. As I learned the hard way, you just never know when the unexpected is going to happen.
When Life Threw Me My Curveball
If you have been a B2B Sales Connections blog or email newsletter subscriber for a while, you know we practice a predictable schedule for publication. You may also remember a time when we pretty quiet on that front a few years ago. The reason for that was life unexpectedly threw me a curveball in 2013 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I had been on a reduced work schedule for a while.
During that time, business pretty much shut down for me much the same way it has shut down for many recently as a result of the global COVID-10 pandemic.
You Can Learn From Every One of Life’s Curveballs
After the direction of my treatment changed (and thankfully, the news continues to be all good), I started to ramp things back up and started to resume my normal business schedule in much the same way I believe it will get back to normal after this current crisis has past.
In the meantime, I thought I would share with you some of what I have learned over those few months about preparing for life’s inevitable curveballs, from a business perspective.
How to Prepare for Life’s Inevitable Unexpected Curveballs
- You need a back-up. If you could not do your job today on a moment’s notice, whom would you trust to handle your key accounts? Does that person have a contact list? Do they know which prospects have sales that could close in the next 30, 60, or 90 days? Yes, lost sales prevention in the event of disaster is one of the reasons both sales managers and sales people alike should be using detailed sales reports on a regular basis.
- Nothing can cost you more business than customers and prospects who want to get a hold of you but can’t. Should something happen unexpectedly, set your auto email responder and change your voice mail so everyone knows whom to contact in your absence. Taking this a step further, someone you trust like your sales manager should have access to your passwords in case they need to do this for you.
- Be like a newscaster when delivering bad news to a client like a hefty price increase or product discontinuation. Be prepared, stay calm, state the facts, and then discuss the plan of action for the future. You can’t control how they react to the news; you can only control how you deliver it.
- Nobody ever went to their grave wishing they spent more time at the office. If you are working too many hours in a day, change. If you are in management, learn to delegate better. If you are in sales, learn to work smarter so that you are more effective in your sales activities. Not sure if this applies to you? If business came to a complete standstill when you took your last vacation, then yes, this applies to you. Can’t remember when you took your last vacation? Then absolutely this applies to you.
- Attitude really does matter. In sales or a job search, rejection is just something you are going to have to deal with. If you let it get you down, it shows to everyone you meet, including your customers, your potential employers, your colleagues and your family. Don’t let a negative attitude become your worst enemy. There is always a bright side, so find it. For more ways to keep a positive outlook, check out How to Keep a Positive Attitude – 10 Tips for Sales People To Get and Keep A Positive Attitude
- Prepare financially. What would you do if your income suddenly stopped? In sales, we work on a performance based income. Also, many of us don’t have benefits to cover us in the event that life throws us a curveball. Therefore, we all need to prepare financially, the most important part of which is to have an emergency fund to cover expenses.
The Bottom Line on Life’s Curveballs
It’s not a matter of whether life will throw you a curveball, it’s a matter of when. You need to be prepared. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And remember, when your curve ball comes, swing for the fence! More motivational quotes here.
“… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”
Do you have a question about sales? You’re not alone. Most salespeople have questions like this on how they can sell more. For the right answers, check out my book, Ask the Sales Coach-Practical Answers to the Questions Sales People Ask Most.