"Work It Girl!" – Tania Doub

PSA to Sales. Layoffs are coming…

Got your attention, right?  Yep.  Got mine too when I read this LinkedIn post from a tech CEO yesterday:

“PSA to Sales: Layoffs are coming. 😢 …

Love me, hate me, doesn’t matter. This is the cold hard truth…”

At the time I was masterfully multi-tasking with my children making breakfast for our family.  It stopped me in my tracks. All of a sudden I was feeling emotions that impulsively made me angry and irritated all at the same time. I put my phone down as my son tugged at my sleeve to take his english muffin out of the toaster.  I couldn’t hide it. I was incredibly distracted. I picked up my phone again. I read the post over and over again until I realized that it had in fact irritated me enough that I needed to respond. If not for me, then for my friends and colleagues who may have not been brave enough to stand up for themselves to straight up bullies. 

Only if you have been living in a bubble (which would actually make you quite lucky right about now!) you haven’t yet realized that we are in the middle of a global pandemic.  Travel has been suspended. Remote workforces have been assembled. Schools have shut down. Small business owners are struggling. Communities have come together. Social media is on fire! I personally have been home for about 96 hours straight with the occasional run and bike ride to keep me sane.  We are all quietly wondering “WTF is happening?!?!” while we simultaneously keep our cool.

There are very few people or sources of information that I trust right now.  It’s not because I am not of sound mind. Nor is it that I don’t trust many people.  I am on the verge of panic myself and I am desperately searching for a voice of reason to talk me off the ledge.  

Simply put, there are not many people I can trust right now.

It’s not the media.  For every convincing argument why this pandemic is to be feared there is another argument that tells us simply to be cautiously aware, and use our best judgment to #flattenthecurve and engage in social distancing.

It’s not my parents.  In fact, for the first time ever, the roles are now reversed.  This time, I am confident I know more than they do. They can’t keep up with social media stats and guidelines that are changing by the hour!  It’s up to me to give them the play-by-play and guide them on what they can and cannot do in this new norm.

It’s not my friends.  Most of them are gym rats who believe they are as invincible as the superheroes that we imagine ourselves to be with every CrossFit WOD and PR (personal record) we hit.

It’s not my husband.  Who is unwaveringly optimistic and never shows any sign of weakness.  In fact, he smiles even brighter when things get to this level of crazy.  

It’s not my job.  You see, the day I started my new job on March 3rd, was the day my company announced a travel ban.  It was the day that my company formally reacted to this global pandemic. Our contingency plan. What was supposed to be a glorious much anticipated first day on the job was actually masked by sales contingency plans and awkward jokes about my initiation day.  So really, when I read that post yesterday, you might say that I actually took it personally that this would likely be MY reality in the coming weeks.  

“PSA to Sales: Layoffs are coming. 😢 …

Love me, hate me, doesn’t matter. This is the cold hard truth…”

The truth is, I have not had the time to build any connections at work.  Not with my manager. Not with my peers. Not with my team. Nobody knows what I can actually bring to table.  I haven’t proven myself. I haven’t been a closer. I haven’t closed, well, anything. I don’t even have a territory assignment.  No account list. No customers. No engagement. No interactions. I can’t be there for anyone. I can’t listen. I can’t be a trusted advisor.  I can’t empathize. I won’t hit my number this quarter… or even next… this is a very real concern for me.  

So to say that the LinkedIn post bothered me is a massive understatement.  

But not for the reasons you think.  

For the last few days, I have been pacing around my house trying to figure out how to handle things in the weeks ahead.  I am keeping the order while I keep myself and the kids busy. Creating schedules, organizing closets, rationing food, and calmly ignoring the hours of XBox streaming in the background.  Trying to find one rational person or idea that I can stand behind to get me through the next few weeks. 

It wasn’t until my friend and former CRO Todd Caponi hosted a webinar last week with Sales Assembly that attracted over 600 registrations titled “Successfully Selling In Uncertain And Difficult Times” did I feel connected to a community and a group of like minded people who I quickly felt assured, would guide me in this time of crisis. 

These are my people.

I may be 10 days into a new job working with people who don’t know me.  But guess what. They do know me.  They know what I can bring to the table.  I have proven myself.  I am a closer.  That’s why they hired me!

It doesn’t matter what company we work for or what “label” bag we are carrying.  We are all part of the same global sales effort. We rise to the occasion. We lift each other.  And we are there for one another – even when things frankly feel shitty for the foreseeable future.  We are all part of the same sales network and we are a community that we can lean on – and rely on to stay positive – even in times like this. 

And that’s why that LinkedIn post irritated the crap out of me.  

So what can we do?  Control what is in our control and be kind to ourselves about the rest.  As for me, first thing tomorrow I will get my hands on my target list. I have spent the last few months developing an account planning notebook that I will be using to gather as much information as humanly possible about my target accounts.  With my free time, I will learn more about this new company than I have ever had the luxury of doing, at any other job. I will be a solid teammate. I will collaborate. I will listen. I will support.  

And when the time comes, I will close. 


1 thought on “PSA to Sales. Layoffs are coming…”

  1. I love this Tania! I think it’s also important for our community to know that some companies ARE STILL HIRING during this time! PathFactory has many openings including 2 on my team. And yes, ALWAYS BE KIND to yourself & others 😉

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