The reality of having to handle a crisis is true for every single person’s life. Crisis management in business is one of the most essential skills for a successful career. This is true whether you’re a sales representative or in management.
Here we are entering a third year dealing with a global pandemic. Add to that natural disaster events and recent escalations in conflicts abroad. As a result, we find ourselves faced with the growing reality of shortages and supply chain issues.
Crisis management is never easy, and the potential impact of the crisis grows with the size of retailer you’re working with. Through the years, I’ve learned quite a bit about crisis management, including its value and how to navigate the process.
Here are my 5 Tips For Successful Crisis Management
Time is critical
You can’t wait to handle a crisis. While yes, you must be prudent and not rush to a halfway solution, waiting to deal with a crisis is never a good idea. It will cost you respect, it will cost you business.
Discuss every possible solution
You and your team must discuss every possible solution to the problem, even if it seems crazy at the time. Be sure to communicate circumstances and limitations to your clients and customers. You also must accept that in some cases, there will be no solution. You may be able to offer substitutes in some situations, but in others there simply will be no availability either way. Transparency is critical to cultivating and maintaining their trust and confidence in you.
Remove the emotion
This may sound tough because a crisis, by its nature, can bring emotions to the surface; but none of us make good decisions when we are being driven by our emotions. This may even mean that some of the people directly involved in the crisis need to step back because they are so close to the situation.
Sleep on it
Sleep gives a fresh perspective to any situation. You will be less tired and therefore able to think more clearly. This will also allow the discussion about how to solve the crisis simmer in your mind a bit.
Moreover, taking that time gives you a little mental distance from the “drama” and urgency of the crisis. Achieving this centeredness positions you to maintain your composure as you continue to deal with the situation.
Solve the crisis first
If you walk into a buyer appointment and you have an unresolved issue, they won’t hear a word you say. All they will be able to think about is the unresolved crisis, costing you that deal and possibly future deals with that buyer.
As humans, fear of the unknown is perhaps one of our greatest stumbling blocks. If you have an answer, you insulate your buyers from the anxiety that can arise from that unknown factor. In this way, you can foster your buyers’ confidence in continuing to do business with you.
Have you dealt with a crisis in your business before? How did you handle it?