As a Coach/Trainer/Consultant, I am connected to and follow many other business experts. One of my biggest surprises has been reading multiple statements trying to sugar coat the COVID-19 crisis as a great opportunity. I am an optimist, and there are some opportunities, but let’s get real. This is a horrible thing and it will harm many people financially, in addition to physically. So, what do we do about it? What can we do about it?

See The Big Picture

This may sound obvious, but it's easier said than done. Whether you’re a CEO, Sales Leader or Salesperson, lay it all out on the table and focus on all of the items below.

What Can’t You Do Right Now That You Could a Month Ago?

For many of us, sadly, it’s that we can’t sell our goods or services. At least not the same ones or in the same way. Look at what those realities are and accept them. Make what’s surreal, very real.

How Long Will This Last?

Estimates are all over the place. Assume the 1 month and under ones are not accurate. Is it 3 months, 5 months, or 18 months? As someone who believes in planning, I actually think that this is a rare case not to look (yet) at an 18-month option. If things last 18 months as they are now, many people are probably broke and or out of business. Let’s first focus on 3 to 6-month scenarios. We can actually see and strategically plan for that right now.

Play Offense AND Defense

Defense: It’s important to analyze everything and cut back on time and expenses that are not catalysts for income now (or setting up future results). Be careful not cut things that will hurt or hold you back when things turn around in the coming months. We may need to keep some things going with the long-term in mind.

Offense: Sometimes the strongest defense is a strong offense. I believe that the biggest mistake most people will make is to just “wait this thing out.” It’s important to look at and plan for things that we CAN do right now.

Make Temporary Shifts

Where can you shift? You have determined what you can’t do right now. So, what can you do? There are potential pivot options. For instance, with my consulting company, the revenues that come from traveling across the country providing sales consulting workshops to company groups has slowed to a virtual halt for obvious reasons. So, I am focusing on my coaching call programs. Last I heard, viruses can’t spread over the phone. I have also been spending more time on non-face to face selling for my marketing company. Do you have existing opportunities to create revenues that you weren’t maximizing before? What are all of the sales functions that you can handle not in-person and still be of help to prospects/clients during this time?


Whether we can shift to something else or not, many people are left with much more time. That time IS an opportunity. Although most are unhappy about this crisis, many have been provided extra time that they never had. Getting through this and being strong on the other side has everything to do with what we do with that time. I have personally been writing a book for too long. Why has it been taking so long? Because I never have the time. Now I’m all over that and a list of other things. The key is to work on the things that will increase REVENUES most now and or when this crisis is over. What does that list of opportunities look like for you?

Be Ready For A Fight

Who is the fight with? Physical health aside, it’s with the potential economic realities and ourselves. We need to be ready and willing to find out what we’re made of. Overcoming obstacles has to do with grit and determination. The fight is on, whether we like it or not. Do we get up or stay down and let it all just happen to us? The waters are rough. Don’t be a passenger- Drive the ship.

Plan and Prepare For The Other Side

If we go into a hole, how powerful will we be when we step out after the dust settles? Assess, plan, anticipate, and create. If things are going to get bad, we want to avoid a long transition after it’s over. Picture the crisis lasts 6 months, but it takes you another 6 months to get rolling and figure out what to do after that. Now you just turned a 6-month crisis into a 1-year crisis.


-Assess and play some quick defense, with a future turnaround in mind.

-Accept what you can’t succeed at right now and (temporarily) cease doing it, providing you more time and resources.

-Shift your offering(s) to what if anything you have available to you right now.

-Make a list of all profitable things you can do with added time.

-Plan for how you can improve and be better (right away) after the crisis is over. Get educated and invest in things that will have you ready to hit the ground running.

Don’t Panic

It takes a level head to see and do all of the above. Just like all other historical events, this will pass. You are not alone as the nation and literally the entire planet is in this together. We will be on the other side soon enough.

Have Hope and Believe

This might be the most important thing. Our power isn’t in our bodies and bank accounts. It’s in our spirit.

Take care and be of good physical and financial health.

If you would like assistance in planning how to handle the COVID-19 crisis and what to do to hit the ground running when it’s over, please go to and contact me about a Coaching Calls Program. We work with CEO’s, Owners, Sales Leaders, Salespeople and more. -Jason Harney

Updated: Feb 29, 2020

From time to time a sales leader will tell me, “I want my salespeople to not take no for an answer.” When I probe further, they usually mean one of the following:

1. They don’t literally mean it. They are feeling that their team could use more tenacity and are often too soft in their approach and negotiations. It’s like saying they’re hoping for more of a “take no prisoners” attitude, which certainly isn’t meant literally either.

2. They literally mean it. Their hope is that when their salespeople are told no (after the entire sales process and discussing potential objections), they can learn a strong response that involves not giving up until theoretically the prospect submits and buys.

Before I get to a better alternative approach, let’s back up a minute and look at 2 important points:

1. Being told no is one of the most important aspects of being highly successful at sales. Elite salespeople are told no consistently and often. When salespeople aren’t, they’re typically not trying hard enough, often enough, and or big enough. One must fail to succeed to be great at sales.

2. Let’s flip things and put the shoe on OUR foot. Picture that you are being sold to, and after logical consideration, you feel that there is a better option and tell a salesperson no. How would/do you feel when they respond with not accepting that? How do you like them telling you that your no does not mean no and that they don’t respect your decision?

Recently after telling a salesperson no, they responded with “Why?” I politely declined to answer as I have gone down that road too many times as a buyer. After considering all options laid out to me and making what I believed to be the best decision for my company, I found it a bit insulting for someone outside of my organization to then question it. So what was my problem? I would describe my experiences of allowing post no discussions as badgering and in some cases, even bullying. Maybe I was feeling more sensitive than most having been in sales one way or another for my entire career. It was too late at that point and not taking no for an answer is one of the reasons that many people don’t like and don’t trust salespeople. It’s desperate and follows the anything just to get the sale mentality. There is a much more successful (and respectful) option.

The Best Approach

No means no. At least until a future opportunity to revisit things with them again. Which by the way, is very unlikely if they feel that the salesperson just won’t take no for an answer. Who wants to meet with that person again? What we want to do is, focus the tenacity of not taking no for an answer on every aspect of the sales process PRIOR to their answer. If we still have good and justifiable arguments after they have said no, then WE have failed, not the prospect. The best approach is to be great at all aspects of the sales process/interactions. Concern ourselves with finding the best result for the prospect, above our sale. Succeed at identify and delivering on all of their wants, needs and concerns. Anticipate all potential objections and answer them during our discussions (and ideally before they even come up). And present to them a strong, no-brainer case for them to work with us. That’s a simplified description, but it’s all we can (and should) do. That is what elite salespeople do. They are told yes often because they are so good from the beginning to the end of the process and DON’T NEED TO try and change someone’s mind AFTER their decision. They successfully guide them to making it in the first place. And when the no’s inevitably come, it’s an easy shoulder shrug and on to the next. They already did all that they can do, which will close the next deal shortly.

Author: Jason Harney, CEO/Trainer/Coach, Harney Sales Consulting. Learn More about us and what we do. #salestraining #salescoaching