My last trip on a plane, like many people, was just short of 6 months ago. From the forecasts I’ve seen from airline industry analysts, it’s likely to be quite some time before people are willing to regularly get on a plane. In fact, they project leisure travel will come before business travel due to liability concerns. This coming January, I plan to attend the CES (formerly Consumer Electronics Show) for the first time. That’s because it won’t be in Las Vegas, but in Cyberspace (how appropriate for that show). Similarly, an important show for safety in transportation normally held in Washington D.C., with a walk-around preview of the auto show there, will be virtual this year. I know lots of sales, business development, and marketing people that are anxious to “get out in the field.” My thought is “Get Over It.”
Twenty years ago I was regularly holding conference calls and video calls across the nation and across the globe. It was not easy then. It is soooo much easier and more reliable now. Yes, like most, I struggle with remembering to unmute myself to speak. I’ll get over it. People still like to have me looking up their noses and at their ceiling light fixtures. I’ll get over it. People have dogs, children, repair people, garbage trucks and other things interrupting the conversation. I’ll get over it. I believe in continuous improvement. That I will not get over.
So you can’t meet your favorite customer for drinks and dinner. So you can’t visit their office without signing a liability release form and giving them all kinds of information so they can track you—just in case. So you can’t take them out to a stadium for football, baseball, soccer. Get over it. There are many things you can still do.
There’s a book by the title, “Pick Up the Damn Phone.” There’s all sorts of social media that can be used publicly and privately. There’s texting from anywhere at anytime. There’s FaceTime on an iPhone and Google Duo on an Android phone. I daily am on ZOOM, GoTo this or that, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, WebEx and more. Done well, those that allow you to use a camera and still see a person’s eyes and their body language are more than good enough for a large number of interactions with prospects, clients, customers, partners, employees. I know people that have completed due diligence and done factory and building tours using such video options to close an acquisition or merger. Of course, you can try email or snail mail, or FedEx, or UPS. Maybe have a meal delivered via DoorDash or Uber Eats to your client and you and have dinner over a video conference. I’ll bet that will make an impression.
Let’s face it. Things are different and they will not return to the way they were for a long time—if ever. Now is the time to get over it and force yourself to be guided by the short prayer:
God grant me the
Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
Wisdom to know the difference.
May God Bless!