What exactly does shutting down the economy really mean? Business continues to transact simply because people still have money which they choose to spend for goods and services. Nothing about that sounds like shutting down. The wheels of commerce continue to turn. Oddly, a clear example of business progress through distance exists in the education system. Whether learning is virtual, in classrooms, or blended, paid teachers continue to deliver lessons and students continue to get grades. The successful educators exercise discipline and an adaptive attitude. Others are less focused. Too many students take advantage of a gracious environment by doing the minimal activities. Yet, diligent students that work hard at learning have less competition for success. The road to excellence presently has less traffic.
Adapt Or Die
Likewise, businesses continue to innovate. The current economic cycle offers singular opportunities to pivot. Businesses continue to buy and sell goods and services. They engage customers regardless of location. Amazon trucks continue to dominate the highways. Purchases still occur in environments and with items that deliver tangible value. Front door delivery really is an attractive value-add for purchases. Several successful retailers daily take full advantage of executing that competitive advantage. Meanwhile, businesses that reminisce about the good-old-days of business continue to struggle. Know your market and dominate it! Or at least, secure a disproportionate share of the market by filling a specific, niche need.
Identify advantages of thriving in the current business environment. Geography no longer limits. Distance can be managed, as long as engagement is prevalent! To compete in a virtual world, the key is to communicate, transact and deliver. Proximity as an advantage has given way to the ability to engage and fulfill. This emerging model remains faithful to basic sales processes. Identify where value exists such that the marketplace will reward, then pivot into that marketplace. Waiting for customers to enter your athletic shoe store to purchase sneakers that they can find anywhere is no longer sustainable. The local mall’s sneaker store is disadvantaged by lack of convenience and most likely price, due to high overhead. Compete with benefits that current consumers value. Convenience, delivery, simple return policies are very much in favor. Deploying those advantages regardless of your business model improves engagement.
Distant Engagement means that business can be transacted without physical interaction. By embracing the ease of virtual transactions, a competitive advantage emerges as a result of easy delivery and customer convenience. Like the student connecting with the teacher for better learning, he or she has an advantage by being available to the source delivering the educational service, also known as the lesson. Communication is now available whether by text, learning management system, or video chat. The service provider, i.e. teacher, is ready to communicate intelligently across multiple media. For students who want a better deal, i.e. grades, then try connecting with the teacher in a medium where the teacher is comfortable. Are video chats available? Nevertheless, make the transaction easier for everyone involved in order to maximize value. The power remains with the customer/ student.
Distant Engagement means sales professionals meet customers wherever they are. If prospects prefer to communicate via Zoom, then connect with them through that medium. If multiple prospects can get on a single call simultaneously without compromising competitive positioning, then by all means do it. Operating more efficiently is always a competitive advantage. If your networking time can be leveraged via video conference or conference call, then master that interaction. The economy perseveres in a virtual, low-touch environment because sales efforts from extra-large conglomerates, as well as small enterprises, continue to thrive because prosperous operations embrace connecting with prospects and consummating transactions with customers who have never physically connected. Distant Engagement reinforces trust considering that any party often does not know, nor care, if others are in an office tower or someone’s child’s former bedroom. Ultimately, businesses will engage, agree, then deliver, or they will not.
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC.