YourSalesSuccess e-Zine # 074 – 18 Sales Experts share their Productivity Tips
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18 Sales Experts share their Productivity Tips
Yes, the link below will take you to a post where 18 sales gurus share their productivity tips.
I thought it would be a good time to send this as I always remember it got pretty busy as Christmas approached (actually frantic is probably a better word).
But before you click on the link and read these tips I’d like to add my comments.
(Sorry I got on my soapbox below and went on a bit of a
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While working at my last employer we were very busy.
In 9 years we went from being just the boss, his secretary and me (I worked from home) with national sales of $80,000/year to a business with offices in 4 of the 6 Australian states and an office in New Zealand with sales of over $50,000,000 / year.
You don’t grow that fast without a lot of hustle and getting stuff done.
My Productivity Tips
Look after the business you have first.
It is about 10 times harder to win business back than it is to keep it.
Once you get a customer, do everything you
can to make the relationship work smoothly.
Make it EASY for them to do business with you.
My major customer when I was “on the road” started out buying one product from us with sales of $80,000/yr and after 8 years was buying 17 products from us with sales of$ 2,200,000/yr. AND not one product they bought from us did they ever buy from anyone else.
Eliminate the time sinks.
I analysed what could be my biggest time wasters and did what I could to eliminate them.
I was in importing and the worst thing that could happen was running out of stock because in Australia we were 6 - 8 weeks away from most of our suppliers.
That usually meant airfreight.
Things are about 100 times more likely of going wrong with an airfreight compared to sea freight.
And so, the airfreight became your all encompassing focus until the goods arrived at the customer.
When I looked at this it
wasn't the big products we ran out of. It was the small items only used by a few customers and in relatively small amounts.
So, I bought some chocolates and flowers for the girl that managed our sales desk in Sydney, Beti. I explained to Beti that airfreight was a big problem for her as well and we needed to do what we could to avoid it. She agreed.
I had worked out the 10-12 products that could be a problem. I arranged for Beti to do me a report every 2 weeks with: current stocks, forward orders from customers (not all mine), our OS orders in transit, how much of these products had been used in the last 6 months. And I was always very thankful when she gave me the report ! Then I got on the phone to the product manager of the product and arranged for more to be ordered. This system virtually eliminated airfreights for me.
My biggest friend was the
“Do Not Disturb” button on my phone.
If I was working on a million dollar order I did not want to be interrupted by a customer wanting to buy a bag of wax.
Also, I used to work back late so I could get my paperwork done while the office was empty and the phones were not ringing.
By the way there was also another reason for me working late.
If I left work at 5pm it would take me nearly 2 hours to drive home. If I left work at 7.30pm I was home in 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, now that I work from home my wife does not get “Do Not Disturb” (hints for me anyone?)
And my 20 month old grand daughter … when they drop in the first thing I hear from downstairs is “Where's poppy?…Where’d e go” Then I get banging on my office door to the tones of “POPPY…POPPY”. And there goes an afternoon.
If you've had enough of my
tips you can just scroll down for the 18 expert's tips.
Group things together.
After work I did reports & wrote a lot of emails.
Sales calls were first thing in the morning.
Order stocks a certain day of the week (I was a product manager too)
Phone calls as soon as I got in from my morning face-to-face calls.
Use Travel Time Well
As you read above I minimised my travel home time.
I also routed by sales calls to be in close proximity or on a loop starting out from home and ending at the office.
I always had books, product literature and reports to read while flying.
I had an Asian Area Manager for a large USA supplier who lived in Hong Kong. As I was driving home on Friday nights it was 7pm my time (I left a little earlier on Fridays) and 5pm his time. I called him nearly every Friday night to update him on
the activity for his products in Australia and discuss future promotions and possibilities.
I actually learned Italian one year by playing tapes while I was driving in the car.
Use a Wall Calendar as well as Diary / Smartphone
I used to have a big wall calendar in my office.
On it I had marked:
all the public holidays for the 5 states of Australia (I can’t tell you how many times I saved embarrassment for overseas visitors coming to Australia),
the due dates for all the reports I had to write for overseas suppliers (that must have worked becasue I got roasted by Honeywell’s other agents in Asia for being the only one who had not missed a report date in 3 years)
Use the phone
I used the phone with customers wherever I could to reduce travel time.
Keep Impeccable records
I used to always take notes in my sales calls.
I once had the technical director of a major customer say to me, “I don’t know why you bother to take notes, you remember conversations we had 3 years ago?”… after I brief pause I replied, “Maybe I remember BECAUSE I write it down?”. He smiled and nodded.
By the way. I never had my title on my business cards. Often a new contact would say to me, “What do you do at XYZ company”. My response was, “I grease the wheels”. My job was to make things run smoothly.
Click below for the tips from the 18 experts
18 SALES EXPERTS SHARE THEIR BEST TIP FOR MAXIMIZING PRODUCTIVITY
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My name is Greg Woodley. I have been a successful salesman for
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