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man with broken leg

What if you weren’t able to work for 30 days? Do you have an emergency sales plan? Thankfully, I did. My husband tore his Achilles tendon. What was first diagnosed as an injury that could be fixed with physical therapy turned into one requiring surgery and one month of not being able to put any weight on his ankle.

Think about all you do with both feet. Now think about how dificult your mobility would be if you only had the use of one foot. Falling, for one, would be a real issue. So, in my husband’s situation, I had the choice of either hiring a nurse or becoming one—I chose the latter. Because I couldn’t work for 30 days, I had to implement my emergency sales plan. Luckily, I was prepared beforehand.

Here are three important things to consider when developing your own plan:

1. Familiarize yourself with technology tools

After your ability to work stops is not the time to starting embracing technology solutions. You had better be ready to implement technology tools when your time and abilities are limited.

I had meetings scheduled before my work situation changed, so I changed those my meetings to Webex meetings. When I myself had a hand injury and was unable to type on my laptop, I learned how to use voice recognition software. Android and iOS have excellent voice recognition software built in. Learn how to use these kinds of tools now, before you need them. You don’t want to be learning the technology on a day you’re feeling overwhelmed giving care or in a brain fog. Learn the technology now.

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No matter where you are stuck working, remember that your phone is an excellent sales tool. You can easily pick up the phone to call customers and prospects instead of arranging face-to-face sales meetings. When you call your customer, explain the situation you’re in, and you may even end up learning more about your prospects and customers on the phone than you would during a typical sales call.

Let’s be clear here: it’s not your job to sacrifice your personal recovery for your customers. But if you are able to continue working during this period and explain your situation to customers, the empathy they feel for you could strengthen your business relationship (and might even translate into more sales). The fact that you took the time while caregiving or during recovery time to call your customers demonstrates your personal concern for them.

2. Prioritize what’s most important

You’ve heard the expression “First things first.” However, when your time and your abilities are limited, your new expression should be “First things only.” Other less critical tasks can wait until your schedule is back to normal; now is the time to go over your to-do list and determine what is and isn’t essential.

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Do you have any reports with firm deadlines? Are there tasks that others are depending on you to get done for them? The way to determine whether a task is critical or not is to think about what would happen if you didn’t do anything for a few weeks. Would anything serious happen? If not, you can forget about that task for the time being—it’s simply not that critical.

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