Inside sales and cold calling is difficult enough without the flu season entering the picture. The sick season has arrived and while it may be difficult reaching some prospects (due to illness) nothing is more important to your productivity than staying healthy and knowing when to rest.
Here are a few pointers to keep you strong and in the game:
Breaks. If you’re making more than 80 cold calls a day it’s essential to take breaks so you don’t run yourself ragged. Sometimes it’s difficult to step away from the phone — you want to close a deal, any deal! — but you need to work smart. Your voice needs a break, so even if you decide not to walk around the block and get some fresh air (which I always recommend) try not to talk for 15 minutes. Use this time to prospect and reorganize your lead list. Read the latest business news or listen and watch how your colleagues perform. Even though you’re in sales there are many ways to be productive without saying a single word.
Watch what you eat. Listen to your body throughout the day. That second cup of coffee might be great in the morning but could leave you dead tired in the afternoon. Fruit is a great way to boost your energy as well as drinking plenty of water. Also, I can’t think of a worse job than inside sales when you’re hungover, so pay attention to your alcohol intake and get plenty of sleep. And keep in mind what time of day (early morning, mid morning, afternoon, etc.) you’re most productive, and then try to attack those hours the hardest.
Debating Shirley. I’ve said this before, and for some people it’s very difficult to do, but try to avoid conflicts with Shirley the Gatekeeper. The arguing and back and forth is only going to upset her and it’s certainly going to drain you and keep you from being productive. Ask Shirley to put you through (or ask for the decision maker’s cell phone if he’s out), and if she doesn’t or won’t then ask her when he’s returning to the office. If she starts asking too many questions, which is likely, then excuse yourself.
“I’m sorry, Shirley. My 10:15 just popped in. I’ll call you back.”
Smile even if it kills you. This silly exercise actually helps diffuse conflicts because the focus is on your ridiculous fake smile and not on Shirley’s questions. It also helps put a little levity in the sales game. Try it out.
“The greatest wealth is health,” said Virgil the Roman poet. So take care of yourself, because you can’t be closing a lot of business if you’re sick.