If you could speed up your selling would you? You can. It’s another way to make more money. There are shortcuts in sales that you can take. Great businesses look to streamline their work. Did you know that UPS drivers carry their vehicle keys on their pinkie fingers when making deliveries? Their industrial engineers determined it is more efficient that way. It saves the driver from having to search his pockets for keys when returning to his vehicle. They also determined on average how many steps it should take a driver to get from the truck to the front door. (And you thought selling was complex!) This level of detail helps UPS be more productive. You can apply the same principle to selling.
1. Start where you work. What do you save and how do you save it? I once took over a territory and the files were older than I was. There was no sense in my predecessor saving invoices that were 25 years old. You need to clean out your files at least annually. Don’t just say you’ll do it. Schedule it on your calendar. It is part of the sales process. When you clean the files out, even consider a paperless office if you have a scanner and a good back up system. I use iBackup.com which is automatic and I don’t have to remember to do anything.
When you are working, the files that you use most often should be located closest to you. You shouldn’t have to get up and down to do your work. If you find yourself searching through many files for information, your system needs improvement. Either you are filing the information in the wrong file, or your file headings need some changes. If you find information quickly, your headings are working for you. If your files are growing to unwieldy proportions, the headings are not. Consider computer files part of this area, too. For those whose offices don’t work for them, do something about it now.
2. Streamline your process. Maybe you don’t know how many steps it is on average to your customer’s door, but do you know how many unnecessary steps you take in your selling process? Act Salesforce.com or a similar database manager helps you save time. Your information is easily retrievable when you are looking for it. A database manager also helps you generate customer letters or other routine documents more easily than doing them manually. What are the documents you generate consistently? Do you have templates for them? Identify what tasks you are repeating. Consider a reduction in generating paper. You can create attachments in an e-mail instead of sending a letter. That’s two less steps to print the document and address an envelope. This simplifies your process.
There’s already too much to do and too little time to do it when we’re talking about successful selling. You are the only one who can take responsibility for simplifying the sales process. If you keep tripping over the same obstacle in the sales process, you are only wasting your own time. When UPS looks at the details it allows them to deliver millions of packages a day. When you look at the details, you’ll also be able to deliver more. It may be handling more sales, not boxes.