Is you pipeline a little anemic? Running low on quality prospects? Sales aren’t where you want them? Commission checks kinda skinny? Or, worse, are you just plain starving to death?
There are ways to ramp up your sales. And one of the quickest ways to get your sales in gear is to take a two-week sabbatical. Yep, take two weeks off. Sorry, not two weeks off from work, but two weeks off from the busy work you do—all the “stuff” that takes time away from finding prospects and selling.
Studies indicate that the average salesperson only works one week per month. Amazing isn’t it? If you are like most salespeople, your whole month is only one week long. “But,” you say, “I’m working my tail off. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Working only one week a month. What a crock!”
Wait, don’t lose me yet. Of course you work hard. You’re probably putting in long hours. You’re probably working longer hours than most of the people in your company. The question isn’t how many hours you’re working, the question is what are you doing during those hours?
The study mentioned above found that the average salesperson only spends two hours a day on average doing the things that generate money for them—prospecting, making sales, and handling serious client issues. The remainder of their time is spent doing “busy work,” work that needs to be done but that doesn’t generate income.
On the other hand, top producers work three weeks out of the month. Their time is spent doing those things that make money, not those things that “need” to be done.
What would happen to your sales if you refused to do the busy work you do for two full weeks? First, your business wouldn’t fall apart. As a matter of fact, probably no one other than yourself would ever notice that you weren’t doing those things. Secondly, if you stopped doing the busy work and devoted that time to finding and selling prospects, you’re business would take off again (or for the first time).
How can you possibly just stop with the busy work?
1. Get organized. Much of the busy work is done because the salesperson isn’t organized. Everyday is as if they wake up in a new world and have to start all over getting themselves organized to start the day. Take a day, get yourself organized, and then take the last 30 minutes of everyday to make sure things are organized for the next morning.
2. Don’t answer the phone. The phone is deadly. It wastes more time than almost anything else. So, simply don’t answer it. Instead, each morning put a message on both your office and cell phone voice mail that tells your clients, prospects, friends, and everyone else the two times during the day you will return calls, say between 10:30 and 11:30 and again between 4:30 and 6:00. Now, you’re free. Get busy finding new prospects. Then, return calls during your designated periods.
3. Don’t do other’s work. Client needs to know a shipping date? Don’t get it—that’s shipping’s job. Client has an issue? Get customer service involved. Don’t assume the responsibility of others—all you do is kill your prospecting and selling time. Of course, if it is a true emergency, get it done. Other than that, hand it off to someone who’s time isn’t as valuable.
4. Don’t hang with the gang. No discussions, no playing around, no gripe sessions, just work. Let the others languish if they will you have work to do.
5. Prospect and sell. Take all that extra time you’ve just freed up and make good use of it. Prospect, prospect, prospect. Spend all of your time prospecting and turning those prospects into customers.
It’s only two weeks. The world won’t fall apart in just two weeks. But you just might see your pipeline and your paycheck swell by the end of the month.