Are you Changing to Thrive?
It's important to create new and different experiences. 8/27/2020 | Danette Gossett, From Good to Great

At first, I thought it was just me. The stress, the anxiety, the uncertainty of all that’s going on was affecting all aspects of my life. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was eating more, having a glass a wine (or two) each night, and I’ll admit, little things were harder to do. My focus just was not there. And then some of my friends started to mention that the same things were going on with them as well.

Need to Develop a New Mindset

Now that we know the pandemic situation is not so temporary it’s gotten better. Because now, we know we must change. A lot has to change, but for most, we have to change our mindset. If we have our own business we have to rework our business plan, if we are in sales, we need to develop new sales channels and if we are managers as well, we need to develop new motivation techniques.

At first, I was stuck. A deer caught in the headlights so to speak. I was unsure which way to turn. What do I do first?

After a couple of weeks I started to reach out to fellow owners to find out what they were doing. I was speaking to my team to see how they were doing and how they wanted to proceed. I knew I had to get out from in front of those lights!

Review Existing Processes and Make a New Plan

So, I started to develop a plan. And I admit the plan is a “liquid” document. As things continue to change, I am trying to change with as well. I realized some of the processes we had in place previously were outdated. I realized that we were not staying in touch with our existing clients as consistently as I had thought we were. We weren’t being as proactive as I thought we were. And our business development pipeline needed to adapt and change as well.

Of course, the first order of business was pivoting the business to what people were buying. Of course, just like almost everyone else, we started selling PPE’s. I know more about masks and gloves than I ever wanted to know. We had some successes and it kept our doors open. But it’s not what brings me joy. If I had wanted to be in medical supply sales, I would have opened a business doing that. I didn’t. It was a short-term solution to a long-term situation.

I have always been a marketing person. One of my first jobs was conducting marketing research as a teenager. I participated in national advertising competitions in college, and spent years on Madison Avenue in New York City. That’s what brought me joy. Not selling PPE’s.

Thinking Outside the Box More Necessary than Ever

And now more than ever the marketing side of my brain is needed. What can we do to help businesses in these times? How do we help them stay in front of their customers appropriately? How do we help them reach new prospects? What’s the best way to help them onboard new employees in a way that makes them feel welcomed and a part of the team? What can we do to continually motivate employees that are working remotely, especially since it will be for a few more months?

It’s a challenge. We all recognize and appreciate that change is hard. It has been hard adjusting to this new digital world we are living in. Human contact becomes a precious commodity within the “bubbles” we create for ourselves.

Now more than ever we have to think “outside the box” to create new and different experiences.

Sending to Homes the Norm for Foreseeable Future

Of course, sending things to homes is the new norm. One of our clients is still having their annual board appreciation dinner. While everyone is responsible for their own meal, we are sending an engraved bottle (with their name on it) of wine and glasses along with sponsor gifts. It’s a surprise and one that I think the board will appreciate for the effort.

We are sending personalized tumblers to a group of 30 employees for their annual week-long training class that will now happen virtually. In the past they didn’t give a gift, just the training materials with a big reception at the end of training. Since that isn’t happening they wanted to do something special for the group.

Another client is sending a productivity gift every six weeks to help with them working from home. The first was a Bluetooth speaker that they could use for conference calls and to listen to music if they like. The next gift is going to be a clip that holds the cell phone to the computer monitor. That way they can be watching a training video on their phone and follow the instructions for the program on their computers.

Juggling Act will Continue

As I am sure for most, everything right now is a juggling act. While it’s better than many thought, it still isn’t easy working from home with all the team remote. I lose time every day doing tasks that I normally would not. But there are tasks that can only be done in the office and I am the only one here.

I am looking at every aspect of the business right now. What can we change or modify to keep our business viable for the long term? What do our clients need from us that we are not currently providing? What new technology do we need to invest in to make us more efficient?

The pandemic was a major wake-up call for most of us. And an extreme learning experience on how to survive.

However, I am tired of just surviving, it is time to move into the thriving mode. What about you, are you ready?

Danette Gossett is the founder of Gossett Marketing, co-founder of Promotions Rescource LLC and co-author of the best-selling book “Transform” with Brian Tracy. Danette utilizes her more than 30 years of advertising agency and corporate marketing experience to develop effective promotional campaigns and products for her clients. Visit GossettMktg.com or SalesPromo.org and follow us on twitter @MarketngTidbits. 
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