Are You a Lean, Mean Selling Machine?
Spring has arrived in full style. Often referred to as the season of renewal and rebirth, spring is the perfect time to do some tidying up—not only to that stack of papers on your desk, but to your sales approach as well. Are certain habits cluttering up your process? Eliminate them. Here are four best practices that can help you develop a neat and successful sales process.
1. Make a list
The first way to improve your process is to set priorities. As Bill Farquharson, vice president of Epicomm, Alexandria, Va., reminded, there are only 24 hours in a day, so it's important to make the most of the time you do have. He recommended creating a to-do list before the workday ends, and following through on those tasks, whether you like them or not.
Farquharson related this to a lesson his daughter learned in kindergarten that stuck with him. "I remember when my daughter came home from kindergarten 20 years ago, and she said, 'Daddy, we learned that we need to get our have-to's done before our want-to's.' I think salespeople do the same thing," he commented. "[Some salespeople] do their want-to's. They look at the things they've got to do and they say, 'Oh, I don't want to prospect,' and as a result, they don't prospect."
Brittany David, vice president of sales for SnugZ USA, West Jordan, Utah, said that in the fast-paced world of sales, being able to prioritize is an invaluable asset. "Once you figure out how to prioritize and delegate, you become a lot more effective and efficient," she noted. "Especially with sales in our industry, how everything is urgent, you want to treat everyone with the utmost respect for their time, and get to people as quickly as possible."
Farquharson also cautioned salespeople to be realistic about what they can accomplish. After all, an agenda or a to-do list doesn't mean much if you can't finish it. "Let's say I have a big gap, and my first have-to isn't until 2 o'clock, and now I'm thinking, what can I do with that big block of time?" he said. "I can create content, I could prospect, I could call different accounts. What fits in that block? If I had five or six one-hour appointments today, then I'd say to myself, 'OK, I'm not really going to get any office work done. This is going to be a day of bouncing around from project to project.'"