In sales, you can work one of two ways. You can either do things you should do or you can do things you want to do. Sometimes these are one in same, but more often they are at odds with one another. However, this article isnít about doing right things, itís about showing you what things to avoid. If you can figure out how to control each of these 7 things on a daily basis, youíll be well on you way to selling success.
Eternal email can occur several different ways. The most common of these is checking your email every five minutes in eager anticipation of something new. Another way to waste your day with email is by relying on it for long messages or conversations that last longer than a few sentences.
To control your email instead of other way around, set aside two or three scheduled times a day to check it. Also, never have a conversation over email that could ever be misinterpreted because of rigidity of writing instead of speaking. Embrace your telephone for communication with your clients, prospects, and colleagues. In age of information overload, a friendly voice on other end of phone can greatly separate you from your competitors who are taking hours of their clientís time with excessive emails.
Personal Phone Calls
How many people do you know at your office that take at least a dozen personal phone calls a day? I bet at least one or two people came to your mind almost immediately. Do you know why? Because taking personal phone calls is one of most distracting and unprofessional things you can do in a corporate environment and is immensely irritating to co-workers. If youíre concerned with productivity, this should be one of your most irritating pet peeves.
If you donít think that taking personal phone calls at work is such a bad thing, then you may be very person at office that everyone is complaining about.
In sales, if youíre having problems with personal phone calls, I recommend putting a little note on receiver of your phone that says ďCan this Wait Until Later?Ē Most of time, when you take a personal call at work, itís because you think it has to happen right now. Ask yourself this question before taking any personal phone calls at office and youíll quickly start to take less time each day with distraction.
Unplanned Internet Research
A killer for sales people is surfing internet for hours at a time and justifying it as prospect research. Should you do research every day on your clients and prospects? Of course you should, but only if it doesnít interfere with your more important tasks such as meeting with clients, following up with prospects, and asking for referral business.
The key to overcoming unplanned internet research, as well as many of these other distractions, is planning your day night before. Lay aside a reasonable amount of time each day for research (probably between 30 minutes to an hour) and make sure you donít go outside of that time next day. Try to keep this philosophy for your sales research, only do research that you plan to act on in next 24 hours. That will prevent you from doing any research that you might forget before having opportunity to use it.
Running Personal Errands on Your Sales Route
Whether itís dry cleaning, grocery shopping, buying shoes, or anything else, keep your personal errands out of your business life. Why? Because you have a limited number of hours each day to sell and you canít afford to spend that time on things that arenít making you any money.
In sales, everything should be weighed according to its opportunity cost. You probably remember this from your economics class in college. Basically, opportunity cost means cost of something in terms of an opportunity foregone (and benefits that could be received from that opportunity). Whether cost is time, safety, or money, nothing is ever totally free. So when youíre picking up your dry cleaning during time that you could be making phone calls, opportunity cost of doing that is amount of money you would be making if you were making calls instead of picking up your dry cleaning. Measure everything in sales by looking at opportunity cost and youíll find that making decisions about what to do first becomes much easier.