If you’re like the most working professionals, it’s only natural to want to get out and enjoy your summer after a year of hard work.
You want to take in the sunshine and longer days, but at the same time, you know you have to keep your sales momentum up to avoid a drought at the end of the year. Where is motivation when you need it?
Well, imagine this: this year, you can leverage your laziness and the things you love doing in a way that will make you more successful.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not!
Here are the 4 rules of the road when it comes to maximizing activities that you want to do, enjoy doing, and have the capacity to get done.
Oftentimes, salespeople prepare proposals too soon, without all of the right information needed. Before you fall into this trap, stop yourself and ask: “Do I have everything I need to prepare this proposal?”
Regardless of the answer, stop writing and pick up the phone. Call your prospective client to verify the information you have and fill the gaps for anything that’s missing.
For example, consider telling them you are working on their proposal and keep coming up with a budget range of $X - $Y.
Ask them if that budget is in the range that they would still consider. Their reaction will tell you everything you need to know about what it will take to close the sale.
Maybe you have a different sales style and this feels too aggressive, but remember, prospect’s already know what their budget is and if you don’t have this information or ask questions in order to retrieve it, then you’ll be extending your sales cycle -- and nobody wants to do that.
It all comes down to qualifying each opportunity and making sure you’re not wasting time or guessing at what to write in a proposal. Lazy? Or genius? Just think of all the time you’ll save if you work with your prospect by verifying information before getting started with the proposal. Now you can head to the beach and use that extra time you’ve saved to the fullest.
2. Focus. Focus. Focus.
In sales and marketing, it’s tempting to want to cast the widest net to capture the greatest number of people, but all that does is creates a lot of extra work with people who most likely won’t buy your product or service.
It’s time to focus your lead generation activities.
Let your inner laziness guide you to prospect more effectively and efficiently.
Let’s redirect your efforts toward personalizing your sales and marketing approach to reach the quality few you’re targeting.
When it comes to lead generation, you need a balance of activities through phone, email, networking, blogging, and social media.
I know what you’re thinking: that sounds like a lot of work, but it isn’t!
Start by creating a system and schedule to help you focus on easy, yet productive sales activities. You can do this by making appointments with yourself every day to work on each activity.
For example, maybe you’re an early riser to begin with and would consider starting your day an hour earlier so that you can schedule time to get in touch with that hard-to-reach CEO you’ve been targeting. Better yet, with the introduction ofsales/marketing technology like HubSpot, you’ll be able to create, schedule, and track all of your emails with minimal effort.
When it comes to networking, blogging, and social media outreach, remember to make it fun! Seek out networking events that you will enjoy. If you’re blogging, write about something you’re enthusiastic about or interested in learning more about. Social media outreach should be run through one simply filter, am I adding or sharing value to my followers? And guess what? All of these things can be done from the comfort of your beach chair.
3. Limit Yourself.
If you look at all of the things you have to do…all of the things you wish you had time for, you’ll quickly realize there are not enough hours in the day.
Working hard on something until it is done is a great character trait but too much work for the time-starved salesperson.
The opportunity cost of doing any one thing in sales is making progress with a different prospect or customer, who might be more likely to buy.
So, instead of working on every task until it’s done, decide upfront how many minutes you will spend on each task before you begin. (We’re only talking about work tasks here, not pleasure tasks.)
By doing this, you will approach every task with more energy and enthusiasm. It is easier to limit the time spent on any activity than to spend too much time and effort working on something that may not close.
We don’t know who will buy so we are better off limiting our risk instead of over-investing our time with any one account.
Give yourself a break from work by switching tasks before any one of them consumes all of your time.
4. Be Picky.
Create a clear picture of your goal.
Once you know what each month has to look like in order to reach your goal, then you can consider what kind of sales are reasonable to expect for each month to hit that number.
No doubt, each month you will need some big deals and small deals; a mix of renewals, upsells, and new business in just the right combination, but always ask yourself: Are the leads I’m prospecting right now enabling or preventing me from reaching my ideal month?
It’s essential to start recognizing sales opportunities that are not likely to close at an earlier point in the sales process to shorten the sales cycle and stop wasting time.
Take a hard look at the way you are qualifying. What are you looking for apart from the normal qualifications? For example:
Is this buyer and their company a likely target?
Can they afford to buy my solution?
Do they even have a need for what I sell?
Being qualified is all of the above plus “Can my offering connect with what they are doing now or plan to do next?”
Stop stressing and start letting summer laziness be your guide to success by working with each client to verify information before sending a proposal, staying focused on the right activities, limiting yourself to priorities, and being picky about the leads you’re qualifying.