I've been thinking quite a bit about the world that I now sell in. With the Delta variant picking up steam here in the East, I'm concerned that the Pandemic may have not run it's course just yet.
It's my belief that this pandemic started here in the US in late November or early December of 2019. The reason I believe that is because everyone in my family got sick in December and all of us tested negative for the flu. It was nasty for us but we came out it. We'll never know since there was no testing for COVID19 at that time.
Thus as far as I'm concerned we're into this for 21 months now and most of us in the sales world have experienced 18 months of change. Personally I thought we were out of this in May, however in recent days at least here in NJ some businesses have instituted their own mask mandates, all K12 schools will be in session but all will have to wear masks, and most all of our colleges are mandating that students be vaccinated or they can't attend class. In addition I've heard of some businesses now mandating that a condition of employment is that you're vaccinated for COVID19. The NJ Marathon was just cancelled and many indoor and outdoor events are requiring proof of vaccination.
Sales has been uneven for the last 90 days. Some months are up and some are down, I was fortunate to close two rather large opportunities last week that totaled $135K in revenue. One of those opps with an existing client took 6 months from start to finish. The other opportunity that closed wasn't even on my 90 day funnel (the hardier you work, the luckier you get). However I still think about the state of business if those two opps did not go down. When removing those opps the market here in NJ is sluggish and it's not just me, I've spoken to two other dealer principals that are seeing the same business climate in NJ.
BTA National Event
This week features the BTA National Convention in San Diego. Many solution vendors, speakers and vendors will gather from across the county for this two day event. I'm sure the state of our industry will be one of the hot discussions with those back door chats. I wish I could be there but I choose to stay home and put in the work to make sure I can finish my year where I want to be. This is what I do and I know no other way and I still enjoy what I do even after all of these years.
Questions I Have
- Will companies in our industry start to mandate a COVID19 vaccine for employees?
- Will companies that I visit require me to show proof of vaccination?
- Will companies revert back to no visitors from salespeople as the Delta variant gains strength?
- Will we ever get back to where we were in business prior to the pandemic?
- Will we do this all over again for the next H1N1 or Swine Flu?
- Is this our new normal business climate?
- Will NJ or other states go back to requiring masks for indoors?
- Has the pandemic forever altered our industry?
- Will we really need a Virus Passport to travel from State to State?
One thing I do know is that I don't have the answers for any of those questions.
With the 20th anniversary of 9/11 just a few short weeks away it got me thinking about many of the hardships we've been through over the last twenty years. With 9/11 did not give up, we went back to work and we made the best of things that we could.
I guess that's the attitude we have to take with us as we continue to fight an unstable business client. Keep pushing, keep moving forward and don't ever, ever give up.