“Life Isn’t About Waiting for the Storm to Pass. It’s About Learning to Dance in the Rain.”

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

People dancing in the rain

Thomas Scheerder
By Thomas Scheerder
Sales Director, Kaon Interactive Europe

 

I love this expression, and I live by it! Don’t sit back hiding in the corner, but pick up yourself and make the most, or even better something great, out of it. During our whole lives, we need to fight the obstacles that we face.

I have recently become the European sales director for Kaon Interactive — a proud member of this great company based in Massachusetts, USA. Kaon Interactive is a B2B software company that creates interactive sales and marketing applications to transform customer engagements. These applications typically include many different kinds of experiences, such as dynamic solution stories, photo-realistic 3D product tours, virtual reality, and augmented reality. Our platform helps many leading technology, medical technology, and industrial companies elevate the engagement with their customers around the world on any device, any time, and with unlimited users.

Before I started at Kaon, I worked, almost my whole career, in the event and congress industry. When I left my former company, many of my colleagues said to me, “Are you going to work for an American company, really? Wow, that’s a quite thrilling step!”

European people tend to think that all American companies have this “Wall Street” kind of attitude: Greed is good; if you do not ride along you’re fired! Well, I can tell you, this is not true at all. Kaon Interactive is a great company with amazing colleagues, and I have the pleasure of working with an inspiring leadership team who share the vision of putting the customer first.

You already know which “storm” suddenly came along this year — yes, the COVID-19 storm. This has changed our industry completely, and has even changed our way of living. First China, then Europe and the USA in complete lockdown. No more events, exhibitions, congresses – in a heartbeat, we all found ourselves working remotely from home. We have been teaching our children while joining a virtual business meeting at the same time.

Because it is such a huge storm, this makes it a bit harder to say, “Well let’s just learn how to dance in this heavy rain.” But, to be honest, I think the expression is still correct; we cannot sit back hiding in a corner and wait till it passes by. This storm is here to stay for a while, and even if the nature of the storm changes, the after-effects will last a very long time – so, we need to act on it.

We need to be innovative. We need to rethink how we should do business, how to engage again. We need to make sure that we still keep ourselves, our companies, and the economy as strong as possible. Unfortunately, there will be victims of this crisis who may not be able to continue to operate in the same businesses as before, but those companies that are able to learn how to dance will survive. This is not the same crisis as the banking crisis from 2008; the only way out of this pandemic crisis is investing in transforming our way of working.

Our CEO has recently invested in expanding the company’s team, both for the USA and Europe, because we can help our customers and prospects learn how to dance! Even in these uncertain times, we have been helping visionary marketing leaders at some of the world’s leading companies, such as Siemens, Cisco, IBM, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Bio-Rad, Bently Nevada, and many others, navigate a seamless transition to virtual sales meetings and events for their sales and marketing teams. We were able to do this because our software platform automatically delivers applications to unlimited users online and offline, on the web and natively on PC’s and mobile devices. We have been key in ensuring that these major companies continue to be effective in selling and marketing with interactive customer engagement applications that concisely communicate their complex, competitive value story. This allows them to continue to engage customers, with the power of a face-to-face meeting, while operating virtually out of their homes.

And, when this heavy storm will finally pass away, even though the world will be different in many ways, we will have learned a lot of important things about how to adapt quickly and how to use the power of digital transformation to truly impact customer engagement.

Then we will know that we have really learned to dance in the rain.

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