The papers and the TV stations are full of backward looking introspective pieces on what happened to the economy and why and who is to blame, all valid questions and while I agree with Churchill's assertion that those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it there is a greater urgency and I would argue time better spent figuring out where to go from here. Thankfully some efforts are afoot, including a Government sponsored think tank of leading Irish business people and academics who are charged with identifying how to foster and support innovation in Ireland and what industries or market segments Ireland is best placed to service in the future. I am happy to add that my brother-in-law who is CEO of Merrion Pharma, an Irish bio-tech success story that continues to excel, is a member of this think tank.
There are many parallels at the individual business level to what is happening at the national level in countries large and small as they grapple with an uncertain future after the certainties of the recent past turned out to not be certain at all. Businesses need to quickly move from the initial reactive mode that is essential to survival during the first wave of a recession to a more future focused mode that repositions the business for success as a recovery (however slow that recovery may be) begins to take root. There is always a temptation to stay in reactive mode for too long or to forlornly wait for the return of the norm which of course never comes because business is a dynamic organism than evolves and changes, eventually settling into a new norm that marks a new cycle.
Equally sellers need to move out reactive mode and begin equipping themselves for selling in the new norm that emerges from the ashes of the last business cycle. So just as nations and businesses are figuring out where they should focus and what is needed to succeed during this next business cycle, so too should each individual sales person be asking themselves the hard questions:
- Will my current skill-set enable me to be successful going forward?
- What do I need to do differently?
- What changes do I need to make to my daily work practices?
- What changes am I seeing in buyer-behavior?
This can be your time!