There are 79 working days left in 2020. To some, that may cause a sense of relief and to others, a sense of panic. As we wrap up Q3, I am frequently asked, “How do I best prepare my company for growth in 2021?” At first, I thought this question really depended on the company I was speaking with and the impact COVID has had on their business, but I started to see a theme in what my recommendations always were. They fell into three specific areas regardless of their current state. If you want to finish 2020 strong and start 2021 even stronger, do the following:
1. Be Aggressive…B-E Aggressive
Most of us remember that cheer from sporting events, right? Well regardless if you know it or not, this is my first recommendation. To set your company up for success in 2021, you need to stay aggressive in your sales approach.
Back in March, Butler Street started using the saying “double the effort for half the return”. Fast forward 7 months later…we are still using it and will continue to do so well into 2021. Continue to look for new business. Continue to look for ways to better help your customers. Continue to think “how can we get better?” Some companies I speak with are tired and feel they have fought their way back (which they have and that is great!). My response? Keep going. There is too much uncertainty to get comfortable and take your foot off the gas. What happens if there is a second or third wave? If you need a reminder, look how fast everything changed back in March.
2. Strengthen Virtual Skills
Virtual business is here to stay and those that are good at it will put themselves far ahead of those who are not. If I asked you “On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your company on selling in a 100% virtual environment?”, what would your response be? What about leading & managing virtually? Running a business virtually is a completely new ballgame compared to running a business in person. Where I see big gaps is when companies try to virtually apply the same exact training/philosophy/processes they would normally do in person. How do you drive engagement and productivity when you are no longer sitting next to your team in the office? How do you advance relationships with clients & prospects without being able to wine and dine them? If you really want to succeed in 2021, get better at your virtual skills.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most adaptable to change” – Charles Darwin
3. Survey Your Current Clients
This may be the easiest thing you can do to set your company up for success in 2021 and no, I am not talking about a satisfaction survey after a service has been provided. That focuses on a specific act, not the entire picture of your relationship. Your accounts are the lifeblood of your company. You need to know where they are today and where they will be tomorrow…or where they will be 2021. Surveying your clients does this.
Do you know how your top 10 clients anticipate using your services next year compared to pre-Covid levels?
What is the most important thing your key accounts need to continue a partnership with you?
If there was a year to survey your current accounts, this would be it. I highly recommend looking into this option before the new year.
2021 will be here before we know it. Now is the time to position yourself and your team. If any of the above are an opportunity for you, I would welcome your time to connect.