960 Opportunities to Make Each Day a
By Brian Sullivan
a succession of moments. To
live each one
is to succeed." This terrific quote is attributed to Corita
Kent, an American artist and teacher, but it applies to salespeople
want to have a successful sales day, you have about 960
opportunities (16 waking hours x 60 minutes) to make it happen. And
the trick is to make sure the percentage of successful moments far
outweighs the percentage of stale or unproductive moments. What
defines a successful moment at work? It is one that makes you more
valuable to your customers, work associates, company or industry.
While the following moments in your day may be necessary, they are
not necessarily increasing your value. Yet many average sales reps
burn up too many minutes each day in these areas:
than focusing on activities that may not create or increase your
value, try the “960 Moments of PRIDE.” These PRIDE moments can raise
your value … and your commission check.
for New Customers
Prospecting for New Customers: You need to get out of the office
and into the offense. Let me explain. Just last week a tenured
salesperson complained that business wasn’t great. He was not longer
calling on new accounts, but when asked why, he said that he was
afraid that if he went calling on other rep’s accounts they would
come after his accounts. News flash! In business, the best way to
defend your own accounts is to make people defend theirs (by the
way, this doesn’t mean low balling the price!). It’s the idea that
the “best defense is a good offense.” If you spend more time in the
office and not enough time on offense, your value is decreasing
while your competitor is increasing. There is no plateau in this
business. Your value is either going up or down.
Relationships: Make a list of the top 10 people inside and
outside of your business who can make you smarter. Then give each of
them a call to set up a breakfast, lunch or other meeting (happy
hour or golf is often a nice way to spend a 960 moment). Each moment
you spend with a networking partner increases your value. That’s
because of the relationships you create, along with the information
you receive, which will make you more valuable to your company and
your customers. Reach out to at least one person in your network
each week and be prepared with one or two specific questions. Don’t
reach out just for the sake of “reaching out!” Set a clear
objective. For example, “My objective in meeting with Joe is to get
him to tell me at least three things that he does to separate
himself from the competition.” By setting a specific objective for
your networking meeting, you will get more out of it. In addition,
find a way to help Joe in three ways as well. That will keep him an
active member of your 960 relationship file.
Influence Your Activity: If you are interested in saying
“goodbye” to the Poconos and saying “hello” to the Bahamas, you need
to be very specific about what you want to sell and how much of it
you want to sell each day. Pick one or two products or services that
you think you could sell a ton of and plan to prospect on every call
you make for 20 days. But before you do, think about how many of
those products you would like to sell. For instance, if you want to
sell seven widgets by the end of the month, first think about how
many prospecting calls you need to make and how many formal
presentations you need to deliver to get those seven sales.
example: To get seven sales, I believe I will need to set up 10 live
presentations (70% close ratio…not bad!). But to get to 10
presentations, I believe I need to prospect with 50 customers.
now that you know how many prospects you need to talk to about the
widgets (that’s 50, by the way), it’s time to get to work. Take
comfort in knowing that your competition, because they didn’t go
through the above exercise, will stop prospecting at about 12, long
before you have arrived at your number of 50.
Deviate: 960 Reps don’t look, act, think, or smell like the
average salesperson. They aren’t afraid to take valuable minutes
each day to do something a little “deviant.” One simple way to
deviate from your competition is to take 15 minutes each day to hand
write thank you notes to customers and prospects that you met with
that day. Keep the notes, some envelopes and a book of stamps in
your briefcase, car or office. Then after every high value call you
make, take one minute to write it, seal it and stamp it. Find the
first blue mailbox you can find and send it! Think about it. When
will that prospect or customer get your note? Tomorrow or the next
day? Guess what that note will say about your ability to serve them.
It says you care, you pay attention to detail, you have five-star
follow up skills and you have time to do the little things for that
customer. That note can say those things even better than your lips
because it is done in the spirit of service. If you prefer to write
the notes in your office at night, no problem, just get it done.
Also, for you who do everything online, check out online card
creation services. It allows you to pick a card,
personalize it and mail it with your handwriting all from one site.
Educate Yourself: The most successful people in any business are
the ones who schedule time each week to learn something new. So grab
your PDA or open up your Outlook calendar right now and set a
recurring appointment with yourself. Make that appointment between
30 and 60 minutes for the same time each week. During that time, you
can read a trade journal, visit a competitive website, call a
current customer for feedback, read a sales book…or whatever! But if
the ultimate goal is to be able to provide more value to your
customers than the competition, you need to be smarter than them.
And the 960 rep doesn’t get smarter by accident.
remember the only difference between top performers and the average
ones is how they look at each moment, each hour and each day. There
is a sense of urgency in high achievers that has them keeping score
between productivity and wasted time. Top performers simply come
closer to 960 Moments of PRIDE than others. And when they roll over
to set the alarm clock before bed, it is at that moment they can
tell themselves, “I made my objectives, I served others, I made a
difference, and I did my best. Today was a great day!”
it a 960 day!
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