This is my second-to-last Short Attention Span Sales Tip of 2018. With next year’s weekly messages taking an intentional turn towards digital/inkjet print sales, I want to make sure I continue to sprinkle in some thoughts about general sales and management issues. Here’s one for you to ponder…
Last Friday, I flew to Baltimore to attend the funeral of my client and friend, Dan Canzoniero (please read my December 11 blog as it is dedicated to him, a request made from my editor at Printing Impressions). The church was full of people who truly loved this man. One can’t help but think, That’s what you hope for when you’re gone.
Over the weekend, I read a comment added to my LinkedIn post about Dan. It was penned by Dave Moore, President & CEO of VP Demand Creation Services, and I’ve been reflecting on it. One interpretation of Dave’s words can be, here’s what you want to bring to a business meeting. See if you don’t agree: “When Dan was in the room, there was greater certainty, more optimism, ideas and opportunities instead of limitations and challenges.”
That one’s going to stick with me for a long time. I hope it hits you, sales people, and you hear it as a goal for your conversations with clients. And I hope it hits you, sales managers, as a goal for your conversations with sales people.
No matter how much I write about Dan, it never seems to empty the tank. Thank you, Dave, for adding additional meaning to it all.
Have a good selling week, all.
Monday December 10, 2018 at 6:52am ET
Increasing Sales Productivity, Part I
I rarely do this but this is the first of a two-part sales tip. Think of it as an episode of Batman, the early ones featuring Adam West as the caped crusader. They would always end with a cliffhanger and at least one of the dynamic duo was in a certain, sure to die, situation.
Here we go…
As I have pointed out on numerous occasions in the past, time management fascinates me. I treat it like a living, breathing organism. The circumstances in my business and personal life change constantly and subsequently my productivity ebbs and flows. As such, I am constantly looking for ways to get better at what I do in less time.
About a month ago, I started putting some serious thought into 2019. This year has been one of transition. I wrote three books. I got my company back on its feet after four years on the sidelines. I went after anything and everything. But recently, I learned a valuable lesson: “While I can do anything, I can’t do everything”. This, as I pointed out in a recent blog, is a direct quote from Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism. My daughter, Emma, recommended it to me and I absolutely devoured it. Her timing was perfect as I had just finished the thought process that would result in my 2019 business plan as well as this two-part sales tip.
The idea is a simple one: Identify those sales activities that are the most beneficial/profitable and then direct all of your actions towards them. Today, let’s talk about the first step.
Make a list of the categories that summarize your biggest sales opportunities. For example, you might have a major account that consists of a significant portion of your volume. Okay, that’s one. Or maybe your plant just got a new piece of equipment and you’ve decided to dedicate a chunk of your time and attention on selling to its capabilities. That could be a second. Repeat business. There’s another one. You are free to define these various Profit Pillars anyway you like and make as many as you like. Make this a, “Pick up, put down” activity that you get back to frequently, making edits and additions as you go.
Then, whittle things down to no more than five and no fewer than four. These Profit Pillars represent your exclusive areas for outgoing sales and marketing activities. It’s not that you won’t accept business that comes your way, but your premeditated sales actions must directly connect to these four or five categories. If something comes along that you feel is a better opportunity than one of your listed Profit Pillars, that’s fine. You are free to take it on BUT you must eliminate one of the others. You can never have more than four or five.
This is your first lesson. Next week, I will give you another step that will rock your world and dramatically increase your productivity and eventually, your sales.
Talk to you then. Same bat time, same bat sales tip.