From the Editor: July 2020 ENews

Hello, and welcome to July! My typical video message will have to wait since I’m dealing with a sore throat and can’t talk.

Those of you who know me well can stop laughing now…

I hope you all had a fun and safe 4th of July! My neighborhood went all out on the fireworks purchases, so there’s still a dull haze hanging in the air. Dear friends of mine who run a fireworks stand each year were out of inventory before dinnertime on July 4th – the first time that’s ever happened to them. I’m not sure if that indicates consumers are feeling optimistic and making larger purchases or if we all just needed to blow a few things up.

I’m starting to hear that companies are beginning to allow outside visitors again, which is opening the doors for those who are ready to make personal visits to customers and prospects. However, many organizations are still very cautious, which requires some creativity on the part of sales professionals. I’ve been working on several sales and marketing articles lately, and I thought I’d use this column to share a few tips that might not make it into the magazines.

  • An industry supplier is having “practice” video calls with each of his sales staff to evaluate their background environment and camera angles, as well as taking the opportunity to get everyone more comfortable with making sales calls virtually, rather than in person.
  • Another industry supplier realized his company’s logo was on the sleeves of the sales staff’s shirts – and therefore not visible when he and his team participated in video calls. The supplier ordered new shirts with the logo displayed in the upper left chest area instead.
  • A plastics manufacturing company began sending weekly emails to its customers to keep them informed about the capacity and readiness of the plant. These emails also served as a marketing tool – each message included information about how the facility shifted to make medical supplies, how its employees were responding to the increased demand and how the company was prepared to continue supporting healthcare professionals. Some companies sent out one email or press release – this company sent consistent reminders about its commitment and capabilities.

Whether you call it the “new normal” or just a pain in the rear, we’re all adjusting our ways of doing business. If you have an idea to share with the rest of the industry, let me know and I’ll work it into my next video … as soon as I can talk again.