“Do not let us speak of darker days, let is speak rather of sterner days. These are not darker days, these are great days, the greatest days our country has ever lived” Winston Churchill.
The great orator was talking about the bombing of London when he said these words. A time, far more serious and scarier even than what we are going through at this time. But instead of talking of gloom and doom he was talking instead of greatness, the greatness it takes to not only endure but also strive to thrive in serious and dangerous days, like the ones we are experiencing right now.
Dangerous times do make great times. Perilous times tend to force people to find the greatness in themselves.
And then there is this quote from Churchill, “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”
Yes, we are in one of those times. Times when we are all facing challenges. The interesting thing is that this time the enemy is not some other guy, some other country, no this time we are all on the same playing field, globally we are all facing this challenge.
If you, at any time in your life wondered how you would have reacted in a dangerous situation. If you have read books, or watched movies, or heard stories of brave men and women doing great, and courageous deeds of heroism and wondered how you would have reacted in the same situation. If you would have literally risen to the occasion and faced that same danger the same way these people did, then this is your time to find out. Your time to learn what stuff you are made of. This is your time to rise above the fray and show your courage, your strength, your endurance in the eye of the storm and stand up to the challenge.
All we need to do is simple…we need to “Do our job” whatever that is. We need to find a way. In a way our industry is fortunate because we are deemed “essential” by federal and state governments so that we have the luxury to remain open and yes, “do our job” and that is what we have to go about doing.
Many of the companies I work with and others I hear about are doing this at this time. They are open for business and they are producing products. Surely, those who are at risk are invited to work from home, and they are doing that. But alas, a PCB cannot be plated in someone’s living room; no one has a pick and place machine in their kitchen, so many people have to go to their workplace to do their job. This means that they do so with a certain amount of risk, and we should thank and appreciate them for that.
To those of us in sales and marketing, many of us working from home, we also need to do our job, we need to keep things moving forward. We need to be creative, innovative, and persistent enough to stay in front of customers no matter what kind of creative way we find to do it.
These are good times to:
- Stay in touch with our current customers: send them short updates and news flashes about what is going on with our company. Let them know we are still working on their products and
- Find new customers; This is a good time to research for new customers. Create an “ideal customer profile” and then go online using tools such as LinkedIn to find those prospects.
- Develop and implement a plan to reach out to those prospects. Connect with them on LinkedIn.
- Send them short introductory newsletters via Constant Contact, HubSpot or some other method.
- Work on your company’s branding and marketing plan. There has never been a better time to do this. Right now, you have the time, work on your company’s story and develop a means of conveying that story.
- Advertise: If you are already advertising then work on your ad messaging, making it appropriate for these times. If you are not advertising, then you need to and right now. Our current world
situation will rush us along to becoming more of a global economy and people are looking for solutions globally. Someone out there is looking to buy something from you. Your job is to be found.
- Communicate with one another all the time, we are so lucky that we have the internet, that we have smart phones, that we have conferencing services at our disposal. Use them wisely to communicate with one another to keep business as usual. I know that these services are getting overused and overcrowded at times so take a tip from the CEO of Free Conference Calls and plan your meetings during off hours, in the evening or early in the morning, and also set the meeting time at odd times instead of on the hour or half hour. It works!
- Plan for the future: This too will pass, and the sun will come out tomorrow, and we will be all the better for what we have been through, so plan for that sunny day. Visualize what the world will look like and then plan on how you are going to meet the challenges and the opportunities that that new world order will bring us.
- And finally, find a way to keep your spirits up. As I said earlier, this is our time, our generation will be judges by how we dealt with this situation. We will be remembered for what we did when the world
was at a crisis point and how in the end, we came out of it better; better people, better companies, better countries and a better world.
I’ll leave you now with another quote from Sir Winston Churchill, “Let is therefore embrace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, ‘This was their finest hour’”.
It’s only common sense.