The current global health and economic crises have spawned 100’s of articles and webcasts about how sales, marketing, and business professionals should deal with the circumstances we find ourselves in. I’ve contributed my share of articles to that discussion.

These articles all offer variants on the theme of, “What must we do to help our customers and our organizations manage through the current crises?” The good news, is the pandemic has forced a sudden recognition that the world, certainly selling, marketing, and business have changed, as a result we have to change and adapt.

This “survival” mentality has driven a huge focus on the things we must do to cope, individually and organizationally, to respond to what we currently face.

But then we dive into the “advice” in dealing with the current crises. I get the sense of “deja-vu” all over again. Appropriately, the advice is to do the things we should have been doing—and which high performing organizations have always done–last year, the previous year, and so on.

The advice, not surprisingly includes:

  • Focus on your customers, help them address their problems and what they face.
  • Make sure you are creating value in the areas most critical to your customers, now.
  • Demonstrate an attitude of genuine caring. Be interested in them and what they face. Listen.
  • Don’t waste their time.
  • Help your people focus their efforts on the right customers, those customers that need our help and would value it, based on their current priorities.
  • Help, support, coach your people. Help them figure out what they might be doing to most effectively deal with the current circumstances.
  • We have to provide tools to help them more effectively do their jobs.
  • We have to make them feel connected/valuable contributors to the mission of the organization and what we need to achieve now.
  • We have to be interested and genuinely care.

None of this is new. It’s what highly effective organizations have always been doing. It’s what has been published in 100’s of books and 1000’s of articles. Yet it takes these crises to provoke us into action–driven primarily by our own concerns about the survival and future of our organizations.

What should have been obvious for years, has now become obvious and urgent.

There are no magic solutions to dealing with the current crises. There are no remarkable insights that have been developed to give us that “A-ha” insight to current circumstances.

It always comes back to the disciplined execution of the basics, which should have been obvious all the time.