Sales Training Tips: Do What’s Closest to Cash Every Day By Joanne S. Black
What’s the first thing most of us in sales do every day? I bet you can’t wait to get to your email, or check Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. What time do you surface from all this activity?
Some of my clients tell me, “Lunchtime.” I don’t really think that’s accurate, but the truth is we waste hours every day on activities that don’t contribute to business development. These are hours spent on activities that don’t deliver a return on your time investment.
In fact, many companies do not allow their employees (including salespeople) to participate in social media during business hours—even if it’s for a business purpose. That sounds short-sighted, but there is a balance between proactive business development and answering LinkedIn messages and Tweets.
I used to clean out my Inbox every day. No more. If an email or other activity doesn’t contribute to building my business, it’s not worth spending my valuable time during prime business hours. I can research, read, and listen to podcasts and webcasts if, and when, I have time.
Here’s my rule:
I do what’s “closest to cash” first—every day. Perhaps I write a proposal, follow up on a referral, return a phone call, schedule a meeting with a sales prospect, or chat with someone about a referral introduction.
Once I complete those tasks, then I focus on new business development. Here are business-development activities that are ongoing, measurable, and create sales opportunities:
* Attend Networking Events — At least one a week. Go where you clients go. Engage in networking activities and continue to expand your referral network.
* Contact Your Clients — Existing clients are your best source of new business—whether to other divisions within their company, additional projects for their group, or for referrals to their contacts in other organizations.
* Build Your Referral List — Make a list of everyone you know and organize it with the people you know best at the top. Set aside time to contact them, discuss what’s new in your business, ask how you can help them, and get their ideas for people you should meet. Once they make a suggestion, ask them to introduce you. That’s a perfect referral and your most productive business-development activity.
Sales is not about making a list and checking off as many things as possible. Top sales people focus on business development first. Do what’s “closet to cash” every single day.
America’s leading authority on referral selling, professional speaker, and author of No More Cold Calling™, Joanne Black helps sales teams get more referrals and attract more business fast without increasing costs. Discover how to turn prospects into clients more than 50 percent of the time. Visit www.nomorecoldcalling.com. Follow Joanne on Twitter @ReferralSales.