Who would have ever thought a virus could so drastically disrupt our lives and the marketplace? Social distancing has become the norm, businesses have shut down, and we are all wondering when if ever things will return to normal.
It’s enough to make you lose faith that being successful is even possible right now. But success is possible and there is so much opportunity in the marketplace. What you focus on, where you put your energy and time, and how you invest your resources is all critical right now. It can mean the difference between whether you struggle or whether you succeed in this uncertain marketplace.
A few years back, I became obsessed with uncertainty as it relates to sales professionals and business owners. Whenever I would talk or work with a business owner or sales professional and ask how things are going, I almost always got the same answer. “We are having a great year, possibly our best year on record, but oh this uncertainty.”
As if uncertainty always had to be a bad thing, a negative, that one thing that was going to drop out of the sky and stop your business success in its tracks. That got me thinking, what if we flipped the script on that? What if we started to think of uncertainty as a positive, something that not only didn’t prevent growth it actually propelled it?
That put me on a mission to both find and study companies and sales professional who have done just that, used uncertainty as competitive advantage. I call what I learned from them my formula for thriving in uncertainty.
The formulas defines the small shifts we have to make to how we approach both business and sales if we want to position ourselves for success no matter what the marketplace does.
6 Sales and Business Growth Strategies To Thrive In Uncertainty
- Define The Positive Point – if you want to succeed in an uncertain marketplace you have to get clear on where you are going, and where you are headed. We call this the positive point. Imagine you are rafting a river; would you focus on the rocks or the calm water on other side of the rapid? I hope you said the other side of the rapid, because success is about focusing on where you are going not the obstacle in your way. Oh, sure you need to be aware of the challenges you’re facing but keep your energy and focus on where you want to go.
- Condition Yourself For Change – the one thing we can be certain of in an uncertain marketplace is that change is going to happen. It is going to be often and rapid. The funny thing about change is that we know it is coming, but rather than prepare we wait for it. If you want to succeed in today’s marketplace you need to condition yourself for change.
The more you talk about change, the more you think about change, the more you brainstorm the possibilities the easier change will be. Changes is like a muscle and you need to work it, nurture it, and build it. If you see change coming it is your greatest opportunity, if you put your head in the sand it will bury you.
- Turn Competition into Collaboration – success in uncertainty is about working with rather than against your competitors. In an uncertain marketplace, competition must turn into collaboration.
The problems we are all facing right now are too big for one person, or one company we need to work together to solve them. We collaborate around a common problem. So, define what you need to solve or produce, then proactively think of who you can ask to help you do it.
- Use Your Core – when you start to think of who to collaborate with your values will be your guiding light. In an uncertain marketplace it is hard to know which direction to go, who to work with, or what resources to spend where. The answer to use your core – your core values.
Organizations that thrive in uncertainty are clear on their core values and they use those as their litmus to decide what they do, and who they do it with. Your core values are your inner voice – listen to it.
- Secure Your Base – it can be so tempting to go after new markets or customers in times of uncertainty, but before you do secure your base – your current customers. Engaging and talking to your current customers will bring you a strong return on investment.
They are a gift. If you reach out your existing customers will be loyal and supportive as you grow. They will give you the information you need to ensure you continue to sell products and services that are relevant. And they will show you the path forward.
- Shed Fast & Keep Moving – and last but not least, shed fast and keep moving. No one has the answers or the right moves to make in an uncertain marketplace. There is no certainty. So put things into action, fail fast, and try again.
There is so much opportunity in today’s marketplace, but you have to understand the shifts, the impact on your customers, and what you need to do to adjust your business growth strategy to not just succeed but thrive in an uncertain marketplace.