The rumbling crescendo of executive disdain for WFH can seem at times to blast into resounding inescapable uproar.
Like the early-November '22 outlawing of remote work by the newly seated Chief Twit. A blanket ban across all Twitter workers. Numbering perhaps 4,000 since half seem to have been summarily dismissed at a stroke à la Price's Law. Now mandated by Elon Musk to spend 40 hours in the office. Any exceptions requiring personal approval from the world's richest supergeek.
In England, we've had mobile phone retail billionaires, investment banking CEOs and cabinet ministers overseeing civil servants loudly condemn the catastrophe for the economy they see as office demise.
At the end of Summer here, I even read this startling stat in the FT;
Office attendance drops to a puny 12 per cent globally on Fridays and 13 per cent in the UK, data from the Advanced Workplace Associates consultancy [surveying nearly 80,000 employees in 13 countries] shows.
Is this backlash against empty offices though giving video sales calls a bad name?
Well. Don't conflate one scourge with the other great opportunity.
I struggle to see how some people believe the fall-off in 'remote' heralds an end to video calls. Dismissed as bizarre 100-week experiment. Good riddance, they say, over video is no way to conduct proper business.
I do not share such myopia. Nor mixing up the drag with the boost.
Let's say you are now required to be 'back' in the office.
Presumably, all meetings with colleagues held as was the case in 2019.
What proportion of your typical weekly meeting quotient would they make up?
Nowhere near 100 percent, I'd posit.
What about all those other handshakes.
Co-workers in other offices. Other cities. Regions. Countries. Time zones.
Partners and suppliers. Those with whom we work alongside from outside to win and service clients.
Customers. Spread far and wide.
Sure, a handful may well be within commutable reach.
But really, even if the other side of town, you really want to waste the hour or more getting there and back? Reducing your most scarce of resource, weekly available selling time, by around 2½% for each hour stuck in traffic. Regardless of wifi or phone signal.
At present, there's plenty of 'touch' types you'd never consider doing in-person. For a variety of reasons beyond the travel. Which leaves you with the traditional pair of choice; talking or typing.
This scope of phone call or mailing/messaging does not though, I suggest, cover everything not physically face-to-face. Especially if you want to sell. Sell more. And sell better.
Hello video calling.
The Mars rover referenced in the above cartoon is called Perseverance. Which is precisely what the eventual sales winners of 2023 need right now.
Perseverance in meeting prospects over video.
Perseverance in figuring out which transactions, activity and events work better when videoing.
Perseverance in mastering performance on live videolink to become distinctive, sustain engagement, gain agreement.
If you've a plan for getting to grips with these, then you're well on the way. The future of selling is more likely to be yours. If not, then it's not too late to get on board and rise above the vast rump of underachievers making selling life harder for themselves. Keep going. Get cracking. Go video.
As my alma mater motto had it right, Perseverantia.