Welcome to the Summa'  What's your shelf life going to be?

Its SummerThe official summa' kicks off this Saturday, -which by the way, looks like a perfect weatha' day- and we welcome in this season of beaches, barbecues and barefootin'. 

Most importantly, it's time to kick back a bit, take a breath, and simplify from what we've been through over the past 100 days.  We need to take a break, or at least a partial break, from the pressures of the reality of the virus and from the stress of the unrest. 

Given what's been going on around us and the financial realities of where we are, I expect that the word "vacation" may have a very different meaning during the Summa' of 2020.  Having said that, we still need to take a break and shut things off for a day or five or a couple of weekends since it's going to be a long road ahead to get to "recovery" whatever the word meansWe also need some time to get out of the day-to-day survival mode where we've been hunkered down for the last 100 days and think a bit more strategically about where we're going to be at the end of the next 100 days.

Well, it's actually not 100 days; it's around 70

It's around 70 work days until Labor Day if we don't count the Fridays before the long weekends of the 4th and Labor Day, but that assumes that we would be working all of those days, and we already know that with the kids home and not in camp or daycare, that's highly unlikely.  Plus, we really, really need to get out of the house more and decompress just a bit.  Working from home for the past 100 days, I look forward to going outside to walk down to the NH beach or change the water sprinkler every hour or so in Vermont.  We also need to remember that it's going to be a long cold winter, and most probably we'll still be working "differently" long into 2021, so now's the time-during the Summa' of 2020-to change it up a bit when we still have a choice to be outside.

So, a few ideas for the Summa' of '20:

At a point, five years from now, we're going to look back at this chaos and ask the questions of "What were you doing during the pandemic?", and "What did you do to just get by?".  Push those questions ten years into the future, and your grandkids will be coming to you when they're in junior high school studying the 2020 Covid history lessons and ask you "What was it like back then?".  It will be what it will be, and today we have little to no control over how the picture of the greater future will be painted.  

What we do have control over right now is our responsibility to...

  • ...first, protect our families with whatever it takes, including taking some time now to dial it down. 
  • ...simplify everything down to how we can maximize the value we bring our customers
  • ...focus only on what we can control and stop complaining about what we cannot.

At a future point we can talk about the history lessons and explore the theoreticals of blame that will fill thousands of business school case studies for decades to come. But not now! Let's only focus on the Summa' of 2020 and where we can make a difference before we run out of time.


What's your Shelf Life this Summa?

This weekend, maybe early Saturday morning before you head out with the kids, take a couple of 30 minute blocks and assess just how much time you're going to work this summa', how much time you're going to spend with the family, or gardening or doing whatever else you're going to do to be "on vacation", and then prioritize your available time into weekly and monthly bursts of selling time for July and August. 

sales timeWe know from being quants in "the science of sales" for 20 years that an average "A/B+ level" sales person has a total of about 3,600 hours available to sell, and that the most effective sales warriors only use around 1,000 to 1,200 hours of that time actually prepping, selling and closing deals. The rest of the time is used in travel, attending meetings and doing customer support or marketing work unrelated directly to their sales objectives.   

The reason I'm posing this question right now is to have you personally think about how much time among the next 70 workdays are you going to plan on for selling? 

What's your shelf life for selling and for taking time to decompress before your time runs out on Labor Day?  Unlikely it will be 70 days, so better to think about this now rather than when you're out of time, the summa' is over and you're gearing up for the final 100 days of the year.

social distancingWe also know that through hundreds of interviews with company management and professional salespeople over the last 100 days, that our business environment in general is "challenging" at best.  In terms of solutions for our own personal health, what we do know is that social distancing, washing one's hands and wearing masks in fact, actually do work, and work very effectively.  Not much more to experiment about in what we personally can control.

On the other hand, the new Sales and Marketing processes and tools that we're now using in a Zoom-induced world of represent one giant new experiment.

  • Today, there are no real experts yet.
  • There are very good practitioners, and I hope I'm one of those, but I still regard this entire process as one of advanced learning and experimentation.
  • I also know that the Sales and Marketing communication tools and software platforms we're actively using today will look rudimentary next year at this time when much smarter AI-based tools will provide much higher value to both our customers and our co-workers.

Dial Down the Stress!

stress-1-1We've been living and working in this environment for about 100 days, and we now recognize that this virus will be living right alongside of all of us and our families most probably until this time next year. 

I don't care who you are, but that underlying life and death fear by itself in addition to the work and family complexities it brings with it creates a new level of stress that very few of us have ever experienced before.


So, given the new math of available selling time, our weekly experiments with new Sales tools and the underlying personal and financial stress-either expressed or hidden-that comes with the virus and the social unrest which is currently taking place, we all need to take a breath, walk away from the heat of the fire, get 100 feet off the deck and take a calmer look at the world around us to figure out where we are and where we're headed over the summa' of 2020...before we run out of shelf life.

Have a great day selling (virtually) today!  

Jack and Tufts Entrepreneurship Center -1If you're interested in attending our two morning online Sales Management Boot Camp on August 24th & 25th, just connect with me at jack@derbymanagement.com, and let me know.  Very similar to our well-known and highly successful boot camps we've been doing to 10 years plus, but now online.  Four heavily experienced sales management instructors, new tools for selling and marketing in a virtual world plus and the added bonus of one-on-one meetings after the Camp.

If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board in business planning or for Sales or Marketing , just connect with me at any time.  Text or email me, and I will quickly set up a call. 

I'm a pretty good listener.  Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.

Be safe, be positive and be disruptive! 
Have a great weekend!



Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales boot camps, sales management boot camps, Making Tough Choices, how to write a sales plan, 2020 sales plans