“Just when I thought I was out; they pull me back in” Michael Corleone
For a number of reasons, which I will not get into here, we are entering the second round of shutdowns, and this one promises to be more severe than the last time.
This situation is leading to more frustration than ever before. Many people I talk to are now suffering from serious pandemic fatigue; and quite discouraged to be facing more of the same, as we approach the one year mark.
Of course, with two promising vaccines on the horizon, there is hope, but it is still going to take a while before we get to go out gallivanting around again. Yes, the sun will come out tomorrow; we are just not sure when that tomorrow will come.
But for now, it is time to put our big person pants on, suck it up, and get to work.
As we approach this new chapter of shutdowns, there are some positives to consider:
- For a number of reasons China is no longer a cool place to buy from. Companies are turning to domestic suppliers for their circuits boards as well as their assemblies. This means your prospective customers are looking for more domestic alternatives. This means there will be more opportunities for those of you selling for domestic companies.
- There are many new products being developed. These new products need your PCBs, and they need them fast. Once again, your job is to be there when they come looking. Or better yet, reach out to them.
- Companies are developing new technologies at a faster rate than ever before. They need R&D partners to help them develop these new products. This means they need you Mr. Domestic PCB fabricator. They need PCB shops that are not only able to serve them today, but in the future as well.
- The unusual has become the usual. To use a very overworked term, this is the new normal and people are getting used to that new normal. We have all become accustomed to communicating by phone conference calls and by Zoom and other conferencing services. Even trade shows have gone virtual. And now audits and plant tours are being done virtually as well. Just like we always did in the past, we have found a way, we have figured things out and learned how to function in these special times. This means that doing business in this second round of shutdowns will be easier today than it was last March, which is a good thing.
- Your customers are more open to hearing from you. Many of your customers and potential customers have been working from home. They have been doing this for a long enough time that they have grown accustomed to it. They know this could last a while and they have settled into their new normal. At the beginning of the pandemic shutdowns, there was a sense of transience about it. People were planning to get back to work in a short amount of time, so there were a lot of people just trying to get by. We heard things like, “When this shutdown is over, we’ll come and do a site survey and get your company qualified so we can start buying from you.” Or “We’re waiting for the pandemic to be over and then we’ll launch that new project, but for now it’s on hold.” We don’t hear these statements any longer as people get used to the fact that this is the way, this has to be the way, we do business for a while longer. We are coming up with new and innovative ways to get business moving at its normal pre-Covid rate for the time being.
- Companies and their salespeople have found new and innovative ways to get their name out there. From email newsletters, to sales flashes, to webinars, to columns, to virtual sales calls, to virtual business lunches, to traditional marketing, to Google ads marketing, to SEO (search engine optimization) companies, their salespeople are finding exciting, interesting and attractive ways to get in front of their customers and new ways for prospective customers to find them..
- We are deemed “Essential.” This is a good thing. This means we can stay open. While many other companies have been forced to shut down, we have been allowed to stay open. This is not something to be taken for granted.
- In times of great adversity comes great opportunity. Yes, it’s a fact that we are in a time of great adversity, but what I find exciting is that it is indeed also a time of great opportunity. If we all stay calm and cool, and live within the parameters of this new phase of Pandemic shutdown, we will do very well. In fact, I think that we will emerge from this challenging era of our lives in a much better position that when we started it.
Look I am not saying this is easy. I know that these times are challenging and frustrating. It’s hard to not be able to do what we have always done.
But in the end, we are Americans and Americans always find a way. And right now, it is up to us to find a way to do the best that we can with the cards we have been dealt. It’s only common sense.