Today is Cyber Monday, and by some is said to be the biggest online shopping day of the year. This trend ties into my issue with the holiday season and productivity of salespeople – or, lack of productivity – in the workplace. According to Media Life, forecasters are predicting a day of nearly $25 billion (yes, that’s billion with a “b”) in sales today while employees, managers, and company owners alike will be focused on….. shopping.
Let’s face it – more people shop online from their offices than ever. In fact, I just ordered two gifts from one of my favorite gift sites, Affirmagy because they had a special, today only, on a particular blanket that I have been wanting to order – so I participated as well.
The difference for ME and perhaps some other sales folks and entrepreneurs who are wearing the “sales hat” today is that I won’t work less, I will add that time into my day.
Here are some time tips, then I’ll talk about talking to strangers –
1. Work a plan – write it down online (TaDa List), in Outlook, or on a notepad
2. Honor your time and your committments.
3. Don’t think you’re getting away with something when you shop on work hours – you are cheating yourself and your company. Do it on your lunch hour, or come in early or stay late.
Now, let’s talk about talking to strangers – otherwise known as prospecting:
We will talk more than once this week about prospecting, because you need to do it unless you are getting 100% of your business from repeat business, referral business, advertising, your website, and/or tradeshow participation.
My biggest suggestion: Make time EVERYDAY for SOME amount of calls to people you don’t know yet. If you get this discipline going, you will be SURPRISED at how effective it is on a regular basis to connect to “more probable” prospective customers or clients and have brief conversations to determine whether they really could be a prospect or not.
If you are busy with existing customers, customer service issues, or general putting out of fires, then make time WEEKLY – at a specific time on specific days.
There are few disciplines more important than this. Share your prospecting tips and secrets – it will help others to grow their business and prosper.