COVID-19 Opp: It’s A Good Time to Communicate with Your Customers & Improve Your Team

As I was reading the Monocle Minute’s update on Italy’s CONVID-19 situation, this paragraph popped out: “La Scatola Lilla, a bookshop in Milan, might be closed but the bookseller, Cristina di Canio, isn’t on holiday. Instead she is recommending a book a day and taking orders for free home deliveries.”  

Yes, the next few months will be rough, but there are opportunities to be had. Customers may not feel comfortable coming into your showroom or office. Why not ask them if you can deliver samples for a meeting and sit in to help present your part of the job?  This can be at their office or at their client’s preferred location. This is a good time to show how you can support your loyal clients. 

If they are also slow, ask them if they have time to talk about your shared business. This is a great opportunity to gather information on your product mix, service and sales support. They might be interested in you training their team on key product categories. This can be done in person or via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom or any other digital video conferencing tool. 

If your showroom slows down, this becomes a good time to improve your team. Reach out to manufacturers to see if they have time to do a video PK. These don’t have to be in person!  There is a plethora of video classes on everything from sales to AI. You could take a few key personnel, put them in the conference room and play a video discussing sales techniques and follow up with a round table discussion.

This is a challenging time and you cannot wait for your customers to come back to you. This is a good time to reach out to those customers that do not buy from you.  You just might get the attention and earn a new customer. In slow times it is those think creatively that will emerge with a stronger business. 

P.S: Should you like any suggestions on videos do use with your staff please email me

Image by www_slon_pics from Pixabay

Team Building: How You Open Dictates Where You Will Finish

Every morning, do your teams come to work ready to perform their creative best? Do they have a game plan in mind?

This morning each team member is gearing up for the day ahead. Some of the sales team are passionately ready to go, others are busy chatting away while others are deeply engrossed on one of their screens. Every person has their morning ritual, but does it really prepare them for the day ahead? How about adding a quick morning meeting designed to start the day and help each team member focus on what they will accomplish?

Before outlining our rousing morning agenda, let’s look at some brain research.

Really smart people have proven that small daily wins offer our brains similar rewards to winning a six-figure bid. It’s also said that any defeat is twice as powerful as any win. Yes, people can land a good quote in the morning, then have their day trashed by an ultra-picky complaint from a customer. The sooner you can talk out the negative incident and celebrate the win, the better your team members will feel. Plus, this venting will free their mind to create a positive focus for the day ahead. People are so much more creative when they are in a positive frame of mind.

“But it isn’t just the person who shows up to tell their story most often who wins. It’s the person who has the patience and empathy to understand the story they tell must serve the people they want to matter to.”  – Bernadette Jiwa from The Story of Telling

It takes a clear, attentive mind to comprehend and process a customer as they describe their vision for their dream room. A brief, focused meeting every morning will help alleviate lingering negative feelings, celebrate the positive and get the team primed for the day ahead.

“Positive feedback is a signal to the brain to do more of something. When we acknowledge, we highlight the behaviors we want to see more of, and at the same time, we build the other person’s confidence and certainty around what they are doing well.” – David Rock, founder of the Neuroleadership Institute

There are many ways to organize these meetings. One simple way is to first ask each team member individually to share one negative thing that stands out from yesterday (or their last shift). Once all have processed their individual bad juju, ask each member for a positive event from the day. Now you have replaced any negative feelings with positive ones. To kick off the day, ask each person for one task they want to accomplish today. Simple and quick. Now they all are leaning more positive and focused on the opportunity-rich day ahead.

These start-the-day meetings also offer managers quality insight into each member of their team, as well as what is happening in their department. Take the time to note who needs an individual attaboy, who deserves a big high-five for a good effort, or who might need help on a large project.

Everyone will start the day having vented and been applauded. Not a bad way to prepare your team to be at its creative best for the day ahead.

A version of this article was included in DPHA’s newsletter Connections.

Being listened To Can Also Be Transformative For All Involved.

We all know if we listen effectively, we will better understand our clients and partner’s thoughts, needs and desires.  This knowledge will help us expand our knowledge and create great solutions.

The other wonderful benefit of listening effectively is how it engages and rewards the person you are listening to.  They are immediately flattered. Think how you feel when someone attentively listens to you. You feel that what you are saying has meaning.  When people know you are listening to their every word, they will feel more comfortable sharing information with you. They will then repay you by listening carefully to your thoughts.  This forms a strong partnership of understanding and trust.  

Listening well is a powerful talent no matter your job and improves with constant practice.

Suggest reading: 4 Exercises That Prove Listening Matters by Allison Press from the IDEO Blog