Learning & Development – the new paradigm post pandemic…Neil Connaughton
As we engage in this new paradigm the need to recognise societal changes is becoming self-evident…
Societal changes thrown up by Covid-19 continue to occupy the minds of the L&D’s across all sectors. Maybe you’re one of them.
In her acclaimed book The Lonely Century – A Call To Reconnect https://g.co/kgs/W7pXVk (recommended reading) Noreena Hertz discusses how new habits quickly become ingrained. Many Americans who lived through the great depression of the 30’s remained frugal for the rest of their lives long. And long after the financial squeeze of the 2009 credit crunch many middle-class shoppers continued to shop at Aldi and Lidl long after household budgets were restored to pre credit crunch levels. Habits stick. But do our new habits always serve us?
The benefits of flexible home working are well known. But many observers believe we are unwittingly sleepwalking into a period of “forced digital isolation”. The latest Government statistics show the UK has more single person households than at any time in our history. And the trend to what some people see as enforced home working inevitably means that our “screen time” has escalated to ever higher levels. Equally, dependence on digital communications as our primary means of business communication has become more engrained than ever.
Humans are social animals. We thrive on first person interactions. And we have all benefited from direct mentoring particularly during our early careers, and direct mentoring coaching (showing) really is easier if we’re sat together face-to-face. We all benefit H2H interactions (human-to-human). It’s where we learn and develop important “soft skills” which underpin successful selling.
Many workers – particularly those under 25’s business rely on email to such an extent that even some sales account managers admit to never having picked up a telephone to talk directly with a customer. And in doing so sadly missed an opportunity to enjoy a meaningful two-way conversation. (Every relationships starts with a conversation.) But it’s easier to email right?? But are there not times where we could and should take the conversation offline?
How often to we default to emailing a prospect/customer a few days after sending a proposal, when instead we could have picked up the telephone instead?? Is it habit?
Are we in danger of losing the personal touch?
Customers and consumers are becoming victims of a contactless society (not just chip & pin) – tech professionals of course refer to this as “frictionless”. But if you find yourself wading through 100 plus emails on a daily basis maybe next time your are about to pen a lengthy email you might want to consider picking up the telephone instead. Try it.
Sales and customer management is one of the areas under the microscope since the pandemic struck. Many progressive L&D’s are now considering how to best support and engage with customers and prospects.
But if sales and selling is not your first skills you need to know that face-to-face is very different to office based sales lead-generation telesales or even telemarketing. The skills and mind-set required to succeed are not the same. On-the-road sales people who enjoy in-person selling do not (general speaking) enjoy picking up the telephone telephone; and visa-versa.
So the real question (assuming you think remote selling is here to stay) ought to be; How can we better support our teams and better serve our clients?
The answer, we think, is to support your employees as you begin to transition towards a “hybrid” type sales model. But how can you do this effectively if sales and selling isn’t your primary skill set?
Lets face it. There are times when we cannot see what’s in front of us for looking. Sometimes we need a critical friend. Someone who knows what they are doing to check our thinking and offer new insights or perspectives.
We don’t claim to have all the answers. But we do have a highly practical tool designed to add value – one that we know will to help you make sense of sales and selling in the covid-19 business environment.
Sidekick is our popular online diagnostic tool – benefit from hard practical advice on how to make simple changes that could make a big difference to your sales process.
Interested? Get in touch. I will email your unique link today and you can get started.
Disclaimer: We recognise that “being sold to” is tiresome. So we don’t do it. And neither should you.
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