The world has changed in the last year. Early on, the constant sound heard was “when things get back to normal”. As more time has passed and the world has evolved, our expectations of return and normal have changed. The reality is that things may not ever look that same. The key is, do you?

Evolve. Embrace. Change has happened. In business, change has happened and yes, even in the promotional products space, change has happened. Fear has reared its ugly head a lot this year, but don’t let it win. This is not the first year of change. Yes, it is far more dramatic than before but move beyond the what and figure out the how. Let yourself think big, dream big and then build the plan to get you there.

Think of it like you are building a house. You had the blueprints, and they worked well. You even built a few houses in the same neighborhood based on that plan, but your new piece of property has a smaller, hillier footprint. Are you going to use the same blueprint? Probably not. You still love the plan for the house, but it is going to need to be redrawn and adapted for the current situation. You need a new blueprint, or you can’t build the house.

Get out your pencil and your paper. What can you keep the same? What must change? Think about the end of the project, is there a lake view? Will the house line up to take advantage of the lake view, or are you keeping so much the same that part of the house facing the lake is just a windowless wall?

Yes, the change and the adapting are tough! Drawing the new plan will be worth it. Give yourself the view out the window.

The same goes with Sales. Yes, you have had great success in your career so far. But maybe the buyers look different this year and their methods for buying and what they are buying is different. Remember that you had a great outlook and perspective that has taken you this far. What was it? Your charisma? The way you made things easy for your customer? Maybe it was exceptional service? So, whatever “IT” was – keep it. Those are the parts of the blueprint to keep the same.

Now, the needs of our customers changed, and we have to adapt to meet those new needs. It may not be obvious at first, but keep looking and refining. It might have taken you a long time to get the perfect blueprint before and more than likely you won’t draw this one exactly right the first time either. Get out your pencil and redraw it until you are able to line the windows up overlooking the lake. Redefine what you are doing and how you are helping your customers meet their new challenges in this hilly environment. Now, use the parts that you were always good at and let yourself shine.

Embrace your best skills, adapt what you need to, and refocus until you find your new groove.

Happy Selling. Happy Customers. Happy you!

The Vernon Company is recognized as one of the largest and most successful promotional product firms in North America. Founded in 1902 by F.L. Vernon, we serve more than 40,000 customers from our Newton, Iowa corporate headquarters.

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