The 16th March seems a long time ago when I last was out calling with customers, the quick lock-down in Northern Ireland has had a life changing impact on all of society over the last three months.
For me it has been hard transition, from a role that was out four days a week face to face selling to being confined to the home office (bedroom, spare bedroom, kids play room, kitchen table – depending on work and family activities)
My wife, Arlene, works in the NHS in the Belfast Trust in the middle of ICU’s supporting the fight vs Coronavirus, so it has been a real team effort as a family. From the start of lock-down we tried as best as possible to have some routine for us all.
Most people start their day with a coffee, but I have been using a Joe Wicks 20 minute session to kick start my day when the kids are still asleep. This has given me a good feeling once I get to my desk and in a positive mind-set to face any challenges that come my way.
It is very easy to just be reactive to incoming phone calls and emails, but I set monthly, weekly and daily targets which resulted in proactive sales activities to ensure ATC was in the minds of our customers. In turn I kept in regular contact with my key accounts to make the most of opportunities in the leaner months.
The world of ZOOM / TEAMS / WHATSAPP videos has become the norm, customers and colleagues have been flexible and understanding with the background noise of a busy house. From Product Demonstration and Virtual site Surveys, it has worked in most cases.
Three days a week when Arlene is at work, I managed work / home schooling / meal times and daily activities / walks to keep my three children and a dog entertained, at times it has been a huge effort but has been rewarding in some many aspects. Seeing them develop in front of me when normally we miss it as school looks after most of it…