The Depot Dispatch
by Ed Kalaher
June 2nd, 2020

Corona-Shift: How Will You Remember This Time in the Life of Your Business?

I can’t believe it’s already the end of May. Right? We all know how time flies, so I hope you’re not taking these moments for granted. Each day is truly an opportunity, to broaden our perspective, to work toward goals and to serve others.

At the same time, the last few months have been unlike any we’ve seen. That’s easy to say. But if you had asked me in mid-March if I would feel this optimistic on June 1, I wouldn’t have believed you—not for a moment.

Now I’m not saying that our path forward is crystal clear and full of nothing but unicorns and rainbows—and I know how many businesses out there are still staring point-blank down the barrel of uncertainty—but I am saying that I have no doubt that opportunities have arisen from this corona-mess for our business and many others.

New Supply Relationships

A major disruption in our supply chain has turned into a partnership that I believe will serve our business for many years to come. While in the past our priorities may have started with price, they have now shifted to focus squarely on finding supply partners with a proven track record of quality, consistency and financial strength.

I think that’s a healthy shift.

Market Demand

For the last several weeks, our lead generation is, as they say, “through the roof.” By and large, all of the dealers I’ve talked to are experiencing tremendous demand.

This might be from pent up demand, or it might be from people spending more time at home. Or, it could be from both. The reality is—we are currently in a positive surge, and we are taking full advantage of it.

None of us really knows how the rest of the year will play out, but whether long term or short, this increased demand is a positive shift.

More importantly, we must recognize that this time—right now—is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to drive revenue, to create happy customers and to build your “warchest” for the next challenge. To this I say: Rise and claim your market share!

Virtual Strategies

One of the fascinating things that has come from the recent shutdown is the emergence of the “Virtual Visit.” Many of our dealers are closing at a very high rate—virtually.

And while, as the country begins to open up, the recent surge has already lessened the demand for virtual appointments, we’re confident that this selling platform is here to stay. Our job is to continue refining these methods into a trainable system that everyone can utilize.

Because there are going to be certain prospects moving forward who have significant interest in a virtual appointment. That’s a very interesting shift.

Leadership

As we continue to come out of this once-in-a-lifetime challenge, if there’s one opportunity that I urge you to focus on, it’s to heed these lessons and become better leaders.

Okay, what does that mean?

Just think of the challenges that we’ve all been facing (and will continue to face for the foreseeable future): economic uncertainty, supply chain interruptions, employee and overhead concerns, incoming cash crunches, safety protocols and this “new normal.”

All of these challenges have forced you to pay more attention to critical parts of your business. They’ve forced you to become a better financial steward. They’ve forced you to look ahead when it comes to supply. They’ve forced you to get more creative in your marketing efforts. And they’ve forced you to cherish each sales opportunity—perhaps more than you ever have.

These actions, while forced, have become lessons.

And you must use them.

Use them to hone your business processes.

Use them to drive urgency in your business.

Use them to learn how to better manage cash flow.

Use them to develop better relationships with employees and customers.

Use them as a daily reminder that leaders must engage every day in two main areas of business: empathy and execution.

Do not let these lessons fade. Do not let this urgency fade.

Raise your standards! Make the shift.

Your business will succeed or fail based on leadership—your leadership.

We will all remember the opportunities that once presented themselves.

We will all remember this crazy time in our lives.

The question is: How will you remember it?



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