Is it the Best of Times or the Worst of Times?

Monday, November 9 2020

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

These opening lines from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens could easily describe our current situation. On one hand, the economic upheaval caused by COVID-19 has created the worst of times for some businesses causing layoffs and closures. On the other hand, many are thriving throughout this crisis.

Sales professionals are often on the frontlines of economic changes. For some salespeople, this has been a winter of despair because clients have reduced spending, or they have closed their businesses for good.  For others, this has been a spring of hope and opportunity because their markets are busier than ever.

Where you find yourself on the emotional scale between worst of times and best of times affects your beliefs, attitudes and behaviours about your ability to be successful; and, this inevitably shapes your results. If this is a “best of times” for your sales practice then the positive sales results support your beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours toward continuing to serve your clients and finding new opportunities.

But, if this is the “worst of times” (and it may really be the worst of times in your industry), then you have hard choices to make. Adopting a belief and attitude that “no one is buying” will enable you to justify stopping your effort. This behaviour will create a predictable result of no sales. On the other hand, if you believe that your sales skills are excellent and transferrable, and you are willing to do the hard work of developing new opportunities then hope exists and the best of times will return. There may be other active markets that want your product or services or there will be other places and opportunities that will want your sales skills.

Charles Darwin observed that it is not the strongest nor the smartest that survive but rather “the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Worst of times or best of times outcomes are often a result of our personal beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours toward our circumstances, and our willingness to change and move to new opportunities.

Best or worst? It is up to you.