The last week of the year is upon us, and the time to look back and make big plans for the year ahead is here. This year, however, most people would probably agree that the last 12 months are better left in the rear-view mirror. It was a difficult year all around, whether you’ve managed to sell consistently through it or not.
Now that the final countdown for 2020 is on, we’ve decided to look at some of the things we’ll be glad to move away from as we enter a promising new trip around the sun. In a week, when the clock strikes midnight, we will begin a new year with hope and optimism. In the meantime, here are five things from 2020 that salespeople definitely won’t miss:
Everything came to a standstill in March, and since then, few salespeople have been able to proceed without delays, not just from prospects, but likely internally as well. Companies all over the world put projects on hold, waiting to see how things played out. The election didn’t help, making 2020 a delay-filled year all around. Thankfully, many businesses have found their footing, and are making concrete plans for 2021. Let’s hope the delays stay in 2020 where they belong.
2. Starting every email with “I hope you’re safe and healthy”
At first, it was a nice thing to hear, but since then, it’s turned into a trite and somewhat obnoxious message. While it does seem thoughtful, it’s also a copy and paste that millions of others are using, rendering it a bit meaningless. For 2021, let’s leave the patronizing greetings behind. Besides, it’s not like anyone ever closed a deal because of it.
To be sure, there is always uncertainty in the business world, even when things are generally stable. But the degree to which uncertainty reigned in 2020 has few parallels in modern history. From the moment the pandemic hit, massive upheaval seemed to become a daily occurrence, and salespeople weren’t sure whether their customers would even be open for business, let alone in a position to buy. As we leave the first year of the new decade behind, let’s hope some semblance of certainty returns to the global economy, for everyone’s sake.
4. (Fully) remote work
There are many who have found that they enjoy working from home, and probably an equal number who are chomping at the bit to be around people again. But there are few who want to remain fully remote indefinitely, as humans — and especially salespeople — are social creatures who crave interaction. Realistically, some degree of remote work is likely here to stay, but if you’re hoping to spend at least some time with your coworkers and prospects in the next year, you’re definitely not alone.
To succeed in sales, it helps to be an optimist, since much of the job requires pushing through seemingly impossible odds. But 2020 has, for good reason, been a year of pessimism as people struggled to adjust to what was happening, and dreaded what was to come. Now, however, the time for pessimism is drawing to a close. There’s a vaccine on the horizon, and companies are setting themselves up to do big things. So no matter how you feel about what happened in 2020, you should feel hopeful about what’s coming next, and leave the negativity of this year where it belongs: in the past.