I do a lot of individual sales coaching. Every client is different and has different goals and needs, but the number one challenge I run into almost every time is time management.
A salesperson starts out the week with a plan, but it quickly deteriorates into a mish mash of new business development, old business follow ups, administration, and . . . let’s be honest . . . screwing around with all sorts of distractions that come up.
When I hold them accountable for the time they actually spend on what I like to call “Pure Production,” it is shockingly low. Then, they wonder why their performance has flat lined.
There is only one path out of this quicksand and into the clear, and that is to set up our top priorities for the week and then commit to nailing them no matter what else comes up.
I like to imagine a life and death scenario – either I fulfill this commitment or I will die.
I know that sounds dramatic but it is not that far from the truth. As salespeople we have to sell to live, to feed our families, to send our kids through college. All the rest of the stuff we are doing with our business day is an excuse for not actually producing for ourselves and our families.
I like to take an hour or so on Sunday night and map out my week. I name:
- My top priorities
- The calls I am going to make
- The people I am going to contact
- The outcomes I am looking for
That is my gold standard for the week. I then march through those priorities like Patton’s Fifth Army through Germany. Total focus! No excuses!
When I do this, I ALWAYS have a very productive week. When I don’t . . . when I get distracted and start to slop around . . . I inevitably wind up right where I started, and that is the definition of insanity.
There is a highly respected consultant who demands that his clients start out the week by making fifty calls to prospects and clients on Monday mornings before doing anything else. 50! Now that is a lot, but his point is, watch what happens to your business when you make fifty calls every week before you do ANYTHING else. Of course, it depends upon your business but you get the idea.
Get at those top priorities first. Trust me . . . you will find time for all that other stuff later.
People often ask me, of all the different tips and advice I have written and spoken about over the years, do I have a favorite that stands out above all the others?
Of course, communication and selling through relationships are complex topics and a lot of things need to come together for success therein, but I do have an answer that, if we do this over and over through the course of our selling and personal lifetimes, will generate an astonishing bank account of goodwill and benefits.
Each time you encounter someone, when you finish the encounter, step back and ask yourself the following question:Read more
Most of us have experienced the humor of Monty Python over the years via their movies and TV shows. I am a big fan, so when I saw that one of the group’s preeminent members, John Cleese, was coming to town for a one man show, I jumped on the opportunity. I am glad I did, because he reminded me of some very important lessons on presenting and selling.
The stage was empty except for a stool. The lights dimmed, a voice announced Cleese and he walked out to the center of the stage. He let the applause die down and then he said . . .Read more
We are going to take the rest of December to refresh. But first, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank each of you for your support of our mission . . . providing insight and information to the most dynamic and interesting set of people in the business world . . . salespeople.
I make this next statement with complete conviction and sincerity.
Salespeople are the last pure capitalists. You wake up each morning unemployed and you have to get up, put the helmet on and produce. Nobody “gives” salespeople anything. You are lean and mean. You live by your wits and you eat what you kill. You are the tigers of the business rainforest.
I know that some who read this blog may not be strictly salespeople, you may be managers or professionals who also pursue a craft beyond selling, but you read our blog because you know that, at some level, we must all sell our ideas, and that we must all sell ourselves, in order to accomplish our objectives. To you I say, “Congratulations,” because you have decided to rise above your less ambitious peers, and your less energetic competitors, to enter that most rare of all realms, the realm of “rainmaker.”
To me, the selling life is the greatest life in the world. It combines curiosity with problem solving, human interaction with personal passion. It generates competitive fire and the ultimate sense of fulfillment when a transaction is achieved and each party is delighted with the result.
And sales, at its best, provides us with a daily opportunity to help people, to lift their spirits, to generate fellowship and build lifelong relationships.
So, remember, you are a very, very important person. The very life of your company depends upon how you and your fellow salespeople perform. Would you have it any other way?
We want to wish each of you a great holiday season and a healthy and happy 2020!
The holiday season is a great time to experience just about every level of sales quality when we hit the malls. Obviously we are not going to expect the same level of training resources for most retail and seasonal salespeople that we would in the business to business environment, but it is still worthwhile to pay attention to preparation and, most of all, attitudes.
In making the rounds over the weekend, I loved dealing with the young kids who are working for a few weeks through the season. These are the kids that need the money and I had watched them earlier in the year filling out applications and heading into managers’ offices for interviews.
Nothing against the richer kids, but how much stronger are these people going to be when it comes time to go after a full-time job?
Anyway, for the most part, these seasonal employees came ready to play. They approached me immediately, almost always knew where to find what I was looking for, and usually had a decent grasp of the products they were representing.Read more
Thanksgiving is a great week! Kids coming home from school. Gathering with family and friends. And without the pressure of the Christmas holidays . . . yet.
Of course, in the background is all the noise about the government and the upcoming elections. But let’s face it, it all starts on Thursday, at home, with family.Read more
It was not that long ago when Thanksgiving weekend was all about family, turkey and football and the concept of Black Friday – the manic shopping day after Thanksgiving – did not even exist. Oh sure, people might head over to the mall and start doing some Christmas shopping, but it was a far cry from the institution and media phenomenon that exists today.
So, how were the retailers able to drum up this feeding frenzy?Read more
In their book (which is great by the way), “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing,” authors Al Ries and Jack Trout make a great point when they state:
“You have to BLAST your way into someone else’s mind!”
Think about that for a moment. Buyers are bombarded with marketing and sales from all sides. Almost all of it is mediocre or average in terms of making a real impression or turning their heads. The amount of noise and clutter is astronomical these days.
So, how can you break through all that and “blast your way into someone else’s mind?” Read more