sales lessons in a global pandemic part one: get your head straight

The 5 Key SALES Lessons YOU MUST Implement in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC


For many recruiters today who have been on furlough, almost certainly within the UK, making a business development or sales call will most likely seem like a distant memory. Returning to the office having spent three months or so in the wilderness, unable to conduct any work-related tasks must spin some into utter disorientation. 

“Where do I start? What do I do? What do I say? Where was my desk again? How do I convince my clients to even answer the phone when we are dealing with a global pandemic, an economic downturn; an environment that the world as far as we know it, has not seen before?”

Just thinking about these questions induce worry, dread, and panic, rising through every pore in your body.

Self-limiting beliefs become stronger and slowly you convince yourself that no one will want to talk to you. You believe that there is no market, and there are no clients who are looking to recruit. You look outside, and you look around you – the whole world is on pause! 

Why would anyone want to speak to me?

Yet, in traditional sales and recruiter style, the recruitment management mentality kicks in, and they duly order their sales staff to work and sell even harder!

“Increase your call levels, speak to everyone – leave no stone unturned. You must find that client that is still recruiting so we can still assess you against your KPIs, your fee targets, and your ROI.”

“Stop reading this article, you don’t have time! Get back on the phone, start dialling and make us some money!!”  They babble in panicked tones, as the scary global downturn plays out to the averted gaze of the managers. 

 Meanwhile, on another planet, you, the recruiter, is sat there thinking;

“But I don’t want to – I don’t want to face call after call of rejection, only to get a barrage of abuse from my manager for not hitting my targets (again!). What do I do – how am I going to survive this onslaught?”

So is a recession, an economic downturn or global pandemic a huge sales problem, or does it in fact offer a potential strategic business opportunity? There will be businesses out there that see what is happening around us as an opportunity to emerge at the other end with growth, more loyal customers, stronger sales and a more unified workforce.

So why aren’t you thinking the same? 

Companies who invest in a recession can take advantage of the competition. Go on the journey with your client!

Recessions create great uncertainty and the fear mentality can take over, but they are also wonderful opportunities to outclass competitors and create inroads in a world where everybody else is cutting back. So what are you waiting for?

Go make it happen!


PART ONE: If you don’t get your head straight, you’ve already LOST

sales lessons in a global pandemic part one

The first place to start is your way of thinking. 

Yes, we are in the middle of a global pandemic, a time that none of us have lived or worked through before BUT with every downturn there arrives an opportunity – and you must see it and believe it. 

Stop seeing this global pandemic as simply a time where sales are more difficult. Instead, change your mindset and see this as the perfect window of opportunity to master your market and become the key person of influence. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do get your concerns! You are likely reading this thinking; 

“Its ok for you Steve, you’ve recruited the same market for the last 14 years. Everyone in your market knows you already! All your calls are nice, warm and friendly!” (I did tell you I recruit in construction, didn’t I? Warm and friendly – haha! )

Cast your mind back to 2008 – a recession in the UK.

The construction market was one of the hardest-hit industries. I had just moved from a global PLC recruitment brand to set up a new construction recruitment region, brand and office in the West Midlands. All whilst navigating a six months restrictive covenants and a market that had stopped recruiting overnight. 

So, I hear you ask,

“What did you do to build a regional business to £7million sales revenue off the back of the 2008 recession.” 

Well, here, in this series, you have it all – the strategies that I spent building, tailoring, and tweaking over the last 12 years or so. Ultimately, however, it all started with my mindset and the unwavering belief that I would make it work.

I believed I would be successful and was relentless in my pursuit of high achievement. It was not easy but at no point did I ever doubt that it was going to work. 

Every no, every rejection, every call, email, meeting, and dead-end propelled me further to the point of knowing that the next call was the one. That the next call was going to be my next big client.

That’s all it takes, one call! (If you still need convincing, make sure you read the book Go for No!: Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There’ by Andrea Waltz & Richard Fenton) 

Always keep in mind the big picture. In any downturn, in any market, the fact still remains; you as a recruiter and as a salesperson are there to solve your client’s and your market’s problems.

So, what and how can you provide the required solutions?


Mindset and Self-Limiting beliefs

Us humans are stuck in safe mode for the majority of the time. We prioritise survival and self-preservation and don’t like to face the idea of ridicule or rejection.

However, I must ask – what’s the worst that can happen? For me, there are two types of recruiters with polar opposite mindsets:

sales lessons in a global pandemic part one get your head straight


So, which recruiter are you? Have you already made up your mind before even making a single call?


Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post with Part Two: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”



Steve Guest

Steve Guest has spent the last 15 years as a recruitment specialist, opening & building new regions, brands & businesses in the UK whilst actively specializing in recruiting commercial permanent placements within the construction sector. Steve has built a strong reputation globally based upon process, procedure and having the right structure to achieve high levels of performance. He recently published his first book Top Biller – The Life of a Recruiter. The Amazon No.1 Best Seller, “Top Biller” has now sold in over 39 countries and is the highest-rated recruitment book on Amazon. In addition, Steve trains and mentors on a global scale via his 12 Week Recruitment Mastery Programme through webinars, strategy calls, articles, and sharing value. Join his Free Recruitment Mastery Facebook Group - all are welcome.