We all currently find ourselves trying to maneuver and make the most of frenzied market conditions. I’ve talked before about how we may even face imposter syndrome as we navigate this time, because so much of our routine has become made up or “on the fly.”
But there are things you can do right now, no matter what the circumstances, to create positive growth habits during a time of crisis. I’ll share my top tips for doing just that and getting to the next level, but first we’ll look at the psychology behind how buying habits change during times of crisis.
During the time of shelter in place, going into the store, car dealerships, or even places of entertainment was impossible. Yet we still had a need–driving force that we here at Shore Consulting often call “current dissatisfaction”.
Even though the process of purchasing has changed dramatically, it still serves as a powerful motivator.
Fundamentally, we know that people will always be more motivated to get away from pain and then move towards pleasure. And what was so interesting is what we saw unfold when the accessibility of pleasure was taken away at the beginning of the pandemic.
Go back to the times you’ve thought something along these lines: I don’t really like these sheets on my bed… I’m just going to Target and get another set. Or: I don’t really like this shirt that I’m going to wear for tomorrow’s meeting… I’ll just run out and go get another one.
When the option for fulfilling that has gone away, there is an actual increase in dissatisfaction because when you’re stuck with it, and you really don’t have a choice, somehow that makes it even worse. So if you didn’t like it before and you’re stuck with it now–it is not looking so good.
In fact, it’s almost paradoxical: That time has a way of not curing dissatisfaction, but in fact intensifying it. Why? Because we’ve got more time to think about it.
The Types of Urgency
In the buyer’s journey, there are two types of urgency. There’s circumstantial urgency that says you should buy now because of the circumstance, whether it be a low interest rate or a sale. And when so many people were staying at home for so long, which is the place where that dissatisfaction lies, they couldn’t get away from it. So that dissatisfaction continued to grow and grow.
On the flipside of that current dissatisfaction, we have future promise–the other type of urgency. This is the idea of what we want our life to look like one day when our problem is solved. This type of urgency increased in the past year, as customers had more time to curate their future promise with all that time spent at home, enabling them to get more clarity on what they really wanted.
So, what does that mean for you as a salesperson?
During times of crisis, salespeople really have to scramble to redefine the way they do business. And during the pandemic, the rules have literally changed overnight, creating a fairly significant pattern interruption in our lives.
It’s easy to get discouraged during times of crisis, so it’s extremely important to make that conscious choice to be very positive, to be very focused and very diligent in regards to your goals.
How you think is how you do everything. So if you tend to look at challenges as though you are a victim, then you’re probably waiting for things to get better hoping that business comes to you.
But if you’re a go-getter (or choose to be one), you can use a crisis as an opportunity to stand out. Ask yourself this: What am I learning and observing about myself during this challenging time? Find what is working best for you and run with it. Commit to coming out better on the other side.
Overcoming Pattern Interruptions
Sometimes too much is too much. As Stephen Covey says, “Keep the main thing the main thing.”
When our daily routines–our daily lives–get interrupted, it’s easy to start to think about all the stuff that’s going on around us. We may quickly get overwhelmed. And we all know that feelings of overwhelm, though natural, get us nowhere.
Instead, just focus on what you’re doing right now. That includes taking the time to take care of yourself mentally and physically to make sure you’re always in the best frame of mind. This helps you to keep the right attitude and make good choices, despite what you’re facing day to day.
How to Fight Habit Discontinuity
Changes in our life that we did not expect have an interesting tendency to serve as something called “habit discontinuity”. So when you’re suddenly cut off from your daily or otherwise on-going habits, you feel a little bit at odds. And the problem with this is that if you don’t replace them with new and good choice patterns, then you will naturally default into the negative patterns.
So you need to ask yourself: how do I make sure that I’m replacing habits that I can no longer take part in, with better habits?
One way to do this is to provide yourself with structure. Structure helps to keep you organized and accountable, as well as consistent. Keeping those good habits must also be a mindset. Do them even if you feel like it or not. Consistency is key.
Have a Growth Mindset
There are only two types of mindsets: fixed or growth. For those of us in sales, our position has changed and will continue to change. So the key to growing and having a growth mindset is to have the perspective that even if you don’t know something yet, you can always figure it out.
A growth mindset isn’t just for positive thinking, rah-rah stuff. It sets the tone for how you will move forward and overcome times of crisis.
Which mindset do you choose to have?
Wrapping It Up
One last positive growth habit to create during times of crisis is to “double down” on gratitude. Everyone is fighting their own battle and the unknown hits you, be grateful. Be grateful for what’s in your control, what you’re thankful for in your life, the people around you, the things you have, etc. Lots of people have it worse off than we do and it’s so helpful to keep in the spirit and attitude of gratitude.
What are other habits you have to create positive growth during times of crisis? Are you determined to be someone who comes out better from trials, or will you go through the gauntlet just barely alive?
Remember, a crisis creates opportunity. If you have positive growth habits in place, you’ll be more inclined to see opportunities and get to the next level.