The Green Sheet Online Edition
November 09, 2015 • Issue 15:11:01
Organization, the key to productivity
When your phone is ringing and pinging with incoming calls and texts, and your inbox is full of enticing social media updates, must-read articles, and inquiries and requests from prospects and current clients, it's easy to jump right in and be a reactive instead of proactive sales professional.
How do you avoid this? You've heard it before, I'm sure: Have a plan for the day, one that's written either on paper or electronically, or both. You can shape your plan at the beginning of each work day, or better yet, at the end of each day for the following morning. Creating your plan the evening before offers the benefit of "sleeping on it." This can lead to fresh approaches and insights that seem to come effortlessly when you begin implementing your plan.
Know where you're headed
In Good Selling!SM: The Basics, Paul H. Green stated that not only should you decide beforehand what projects to work on, you need to plan the order in which you tackle them, and "make sure you have all the names, phone numbers, backup and supplies necessary."
Green also emphasized the need to focus on what you're doing right now. "If you've organized your tasks effectively, you won't be interrupted by deadlines for other projects, callbacks" or opportunities that aren't urgent, he said. Keep in mind that flexibility is essential, however, so you don't miss significant opportunities that arise for which time is of the essence.
It's also critical to recognize when you've completed all you can on a particular project, Green pointed out. "Your efforts may not be finished, but that's OK," he wrote. "Move on and insert the project or opportunity on your list, and mark when you think you will be able to accomplish more on it."
Moving some projects along in increments, with persistence, can be the most effective way to land new merchant accounts. With practice, you can become expert at managing this approach.
Tools aren't magic
Another aspect of productivity to keep in mind is that you can have a terrific customer relationship management system and other tools, but if you're disorganized, they won't magically turn you into a sales ace with uncluttered digital tools and a clear physical work desk.
Here are five tips, inspired by Green, to help improve information management skills:
- Handle each document, whether paper or digital, only once. Do not label them "miscellaneous" or "pending" and let them pile up on your work station or PC desktop. Decide what action to take, and take it.
- Sort paper mail with your wastebasket at hand. And send useless email messages to your trash bin right away.
- Take physical notes on notepads, not scraps. Keep electronic notes in their associated project or client folders or in a general notes file.
- Use one calendar only, whether digital or paper. If you use a paper calendar, write appointments in pencil for easy revision.
- Specify a time for reading daily. Don't peruse articles, product materials, etc., as they come your way; read them at a predetermined time each day. Thirty minutes will likely be enough time.
Also remember that success comes more easily when you continue to learn and grow in all areas of your business.
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