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Schneider Training Solutions, LLC | Portland, OR

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Jeff Schneider

Most business leaders have grown accustomed to the comforting concept of “normal” market conditions. Today, when these leaders talk about the “new normal,” they are usually talking about the anticipated return to something closely resembling previous market conditions – a predictable status quo that will allow them to focus on administering and fine-tuning various elements of the go-to-market strategy.


George was excited about doing his first full-length sales presentation. Getting past the secretary, getting the first appointment and now going back to meet with the committee, this is what sales is all about, he thought. And to make sure that everything went well, Harold, his sales manager was going with him.

Here’s an interesting question for sales professionals: What counts as a “big opportunity” in your world? Think of a specific prospect.

In today’s current market conditions, leaders need to accept that the success of their teams and their companies will rely heavily on striking a collaborative, coordinated balance between creative strategic thinking and effective implementation. The previous model of leadership through top-down, silo-driven ‘command and control’ thinking will no longer suffice.

The traffic on the floor had been non-existent since earlier that morning. Bill and the other three salespeople had even given up talking with each other and just sat staring out the window. Not having anything else to do, Bill got up and walked to the door leading out. The other salespeople, alert to this sudden movement, quickly saw that no prospect was in the offing. Then, from out of nowhere, Bill saw someone headed toward the door. Timing is everything, thought Bill.

Believe it or not, your parents were wrong. Money actually does grow on trees.

Skeptical? Don’t be. Just be willing to ask yourself: what kind of tree? And the answer is: a referral tree.

2020 was the year. Your company was going to experience exponential growth. The plans had been meticulously prepared and presented, blessed by the board, applauded by all business unit leaders around the table.

Tim was getting more and more frustrated with cold calling. For the past three days, no matter what he did, the result was always the same — no one wanted to make an appointment. Thumbing through the index cards one more time, he realized he was on the last one.

Elaine’s sales manager, Tom, had an unexpected question for her during their weekly one-on-one coaching session. It sounded like this: “What are you going to do to cut down on your TIOs?”

For leaders – and, let’s face it, for everyone else – the last few months have been nothing short of mind-bending. Most of us, in fact, are not even sure how to describe this period.

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