COVID19 Remote Working Day One Hundred and Ninety-Six of Selling
Where do I start since I've come to the end of my selling days for 2021?
Do I start with the fact that I was down the last day of the year this morning and knew that anything can happen to screw things up?
The year is finally over, it was the year that started when I got back from vacation this time of year. My end of year vacation is a stay at home vacation and it allows me to get some things done at home and just relax. I was back at it for 2020 business that first week of January.
My first quarter of last year was a bummer and I did not meet my revenue quota. I was somewhere around 75% and as we know COVID19 struck in March and pretty much all was lost. The second quarter of April, May and June was one of my best quarters in the business in 40 years. At the end of the second quarter I was 1.5 months ahead of plan. My third quarter posted up at maybe 75% of plan.
When looking back on this year I can say that it took some really hard work along with some creative thinking to make things happen. At times in sales we can take a few days here and there to wait for things to happen. I also call that "letting the ball travel". At times you'll need to slow down a bit, slow the grind and see what develops or happens. However for the other 90% of our time we need to make things happen. We need to push the envelope, offer up different ideas or different financing vehicles for our clients. At lease two of my orders I used the "bakers dozen" lease. I truly believe that with out the knowledge of something as simple as the "bakers dozen lease" I would have not received those two orders.
This year proved to be the largest challenge I have ever faced. Especially when clients were faced with closing, lost business revenue and falling profits. That scenario reminding me of 2008 or 2009 when we had the financial meltdown around mortgages and the economy tanked. For those that were still in business there was one key denominator for all of those accounts. Whether they wanted to admit it or not all of them needed to brace for impact. All of these clients needed to reduce their cost of doing business. That cost of doing business is what I relied on to close many of the orders. I was able to give clients my vision of what they should do with their overall costs to run their print devices. It was a combination of reviewing needs, print volumes and getting creative with different print devices. Everyone wants to do more with less.
My last quarter of this year I needed to close some where in the area of $200K in revenue. Yup I was behind the eight ball again, and it's nothing new to me. I can't name one year, well maybe one that I had my revenue numbers prior to any December. In addition December was also a short month because of the Thanksgiving Day break where we lost two selling days. At times I felt defeated and asked my self why did this have to happen. I guess after many years of selling you build a mental toughness that guards against the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. Because that's some thing that is learned by experience and not something that people are born with.
By 1PM I had an order flow through for $12.5K which was a good. Even with the $12.5K (btw, this was an opp that stated NO yesterday and I turned them around) I still needed another $35K order and there was only one left on the plate. The client and I spoke yesterday and if the order was to come it would be today. I mentioned to the client that in order to save time since it was the last day of the month if I could send the documents in advance of the meeting. The client was okay with that and all I had to do was wait.... and wait and then wait some more. At 1PM I couldn't wait any longer and launched an email. It was 3PM when I heard back from the client and he stated the order was approved but there were no documents attached in the email. Yikes!
At 4PM I received the signed lease document but nothing else. Another email was launched along with a text. I received a text back to please resend the other two docs that need to by signed. Whew! It may just happen!
It wasn't until 4:45PM that I received the docs back. During the course of today I had prepped all of my docs that need to go with the order. At ten minutes to 5PM I emailed the docs to our order team.
The efforts of 2020 were now over. I accomplished my goal in a year when just about everything went sideways.
It's my belief that our industry and the nation is another six months or getting back to pre-COVID19 times. There's no doubt in my mind that 2021 will prove to be the bear that 2020 was. But who the hell want's EASY!
As with every good person that has a win there is a team behind them. It wasn't all me and I made plenty of mistakes along the way. But members of my team helped me to achieve my goal and I'm thankful for them. Our service team, our order entry team and the Captain of my team is our VP of Sales. He knows who he is and I thanked him for his help this year.
There are others that helped and those are from our Print4Pay Hotel Community. We always find time to chat with each other and we are always there to lend and ear and I thank them for that. Special thanx for listening to me this year to Chris Polek, Jason Habbal, Eddie Jones, Dayna Karron, Greg Walters, Coach Salmon, Jeff Redmond, Mike Laverty, Chad Alban, Chris Pierson, Brett Apold, Brent Martin, Monte Jensen, John (wide format) Anderson, Monte (Tahoe), Mike Stramaglio, Greg Ross, Jesse Harwell, Joe Escamillia, Larry Hirsch, Ray Stasieczko and many others. My apologies if I didn't mention your name but I like you are getting older.
Tomorrow will start year number 41 for me in SMB copier business. Tomorrow I know that I'll only be as good as my last month, tomorrow I hope to rise to another year of achieving my goals.