The unprecedented COVID-19 shutdown economy is here.

How can you minimize downside hits, while maximizing upside opportunities? Here are some moves distributors have shared with me:

Most are rethinking:

  1. How to maximize work-from-home activity.
  2. Turning field reps into outbound tele-sellers.
  3. Maximizing social distance for onsite folks and driver deliveries.
  4. Upgrading sanitary cleaning protocols.


All of this is great stuff, but where are the innovative edges?

  1. Have a brief crisis team meeting every morning to brainstorm new, emerging problems, opportunities and questions, and what are the best responses?
  2. Constant two-way communication between all employees and the crisis team via a company app (especially for multi-locations).
  3. Experiment with each customers’ preferred e-tools. What’s the future for regular Facetime calls on millennials?
  4. Survey the top “X” most-net-profitable customers for what special service accommodations or problems they may have. Disrupted businesses have new needs.
  5. Do No. 4 for the top “Z” most-net-profitable (potential) customers. Find and seize viable-for-you new opportunities before entrenched competitors wake up.
  6. Guesstimate which customers are “swimming naked” with too much debt and a collapsing business. The feds will bail out over-indebted big companies, but they won’t help many small and medium indebted businesses in time, if at all. To what customers, if any, do you want to offer extended receivables?
  7. Systematically identifying, giving and e-sharing — “praising statements” — among all employees.


Here is how a longtime client-friend explained it.

“No matter what we do, our financials will take big hits, which will add to our overall C-19 stresses. To keep morale and can-do spirit up, we want to recognize all the individual (beyond-the-normal-call-of-duty) acts our employees are doing during this crisis. Everyone reads the shared praisings. We are seeing a lot of follow-up air/text, high-fives. Everyone is on board and striving to make a difference. 

“My hope is that as our channel first fades and then revives, our initiatives and can-do spirit will win net-profitable share from competitors that only do the standard herd-stuff.”