Busy is overrated
The value you create multiplied by your available time will determine your output. A salesperson's time is best spent on core activities that promote the most value per time spent to achieve maximum output.
'Value x time = output' is a formula I use to assess and develop for salespeople to create and structure the most value in their day-to-day roles. Many salespeople have multiple meetings per day in their calendars every week, but only a fraction of these meetings are with genuine opportunities — the rest are all crazy customers and space fillers.
Why do so many salespeople conduct business this way? Some salespeople feel a sense of importance if they are seen to be busy, irrespective of whether or not what they are doing is achieving anything of importance. Others think it makes them more valuable if they are seen to be in demand. Others still are genuinely flat out, moving from one caffeine-fuelled meeting to the next simply because everyone else is doing it. Don't fall into any of these traps.
How many salespeople are truly present in each meeting they conduct? I mean, really there in mind and spirit, present and engaged, listening for the silent undercurrent and focused in that very moment? Not many. The tick of the clock has many salespeople anxious to run to the next meeting so they can fulfil their daily quota and impress their sales managers.
As a customer, I don't care how busy you are, I only care about what I want and need.
Why? Because I'm paying! If you call a week after you promised to respond to me, I don't care what your excuse is or how busy you are — I'm no longer interested. Why? You don't make me feel important enough to want to develop a relationship with you. And if your business is genuine, don't dare use the excuse that you needed to take care of another client. No man of sound mind would come home late for dinner and use the excuse, "Sorry I'm late honey, I just caught up with a girlfriend for a quick drink."
Like in social relationships, the principles of common courtesy, decency, respect and manners apply in the commercial world.
Let's be honest, who really enjoys being really busy, stressed and time-poor all the time? When you are in this condition you are nowhere near your peak state. Salespeople are much more effective when they are focused on small specialist tasks and have the time to deliver each task at a high level before entertaining the next. More common are salespeople running around like headless chooks multi-tasking, stopping for regular coffees and cigarette breaks, conducting meaningless meetings and filling their calendars with crazy customers.
Much more enjoyable and productive is doing more with less and focusing more time and energy on the most valuable and important things you need to get done every day. Look after your best customers and their best interests.
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Trent Leyshan is the founder and CEO of BOOM Sales! a leading sales training and sales development specialist. He is also the creator of The NAKED Salesman, BOOMOLOGY! RetroService, and the Empathy Selling Process.