Sales and Sales Management Blog

January 15, 2008

7 Things You Must Do By February 1

We’re already down to only 11 months left in 2008.  For all practical purposes, for most of us January is already history in terms of closing new business.  If you haven’t found your prospect by now, you’re more than likely hunting for February’s business.
So, with only 11 months to go, what must you do NOW to make the most of the next 11 months?  Here are 7 musts to get done immediately:
1.  Flush out all of the tail chasing “prospects” in your system.  We all have “prospects” in our pipeline that take up time and energy but that we know in our hearts will never buy.  Get them out of your system now.  Don’t spend any more of your precious time on them.  Concentrate on real prospects not that you “hope someday” will buy.  Vow not to spend any more time chasing your tail.
2.  Get organized.  Most of us spend as much or more time “organizing” each day as we do working.  Take a day or two and get yourself organized and then 30 minutes each evening getting ready for the next day.  Don’t waste half the year or more “getting ready” to sell.
3.  Know who a prospect is.  If you haven’t already defined your ideal prospect(s) in detail, do so now.  Many waste a great deal of time chasing unqualified prospects because they haven’t taken the time to define for themselves exactly who their real prospects are.
4.  Focus only on real prospects.  Many who have defined in-detail who their real prospects are find themselves chasing after those who don’t qualify.  Commit yourself to staying on track.  Defining your prospect doesn’t do any good if you allow yourself to wander.
5.  Eliminate the busy work.  If what you do isn’t directly involved with finding qualified prospects, making sales presentations and closing sales, or getting a sale completed, its busy work.  Busy work may make you feel like you’re accomplishing something but it isn’t making you a dime.  If it doesn’t make you money, don’t do it unless it is absolutely necessary–and 90% of busy work is not only unnecessary, no one else will even notice if it isn’t done.
6.  Learn to generate referrals.  Referrals are the best, most cost effective prospecting and marketing method there is.  Nothing can beat referrals in terms of ROI, close ratio, and client loyalty.  Yet, few salespeople generate many quality referrals.  Less than 15% of all salespeople generate enough quality referrals to impact their business.  Learn the process that really generates a large number of high quality referrals and turn your clients into your marketing platform.
7.  Create a consistent client communication campaign.  If you don’t already have a consistent communication campaign for your clients and prospects, create one now.  You should be touching each of your clients and long-term prospects 12 to 16 times a year.  Use a combination of media–calls, emails, newsletters, letters, postcards.  Make sure each of your communications brings value to your client.  The key question to ask yourself before making any contact is “does this benefit the client or only me?”  If it doesn’t benefit the client, don’t send it or don’t call.  Never waste your client’s time.  A quality communication campaign will more than pay for itself in add-on sales, repeat sales, referrals, and word of mouth marketing.  But if you don’t have a great campaign, you’ll be leaving a tremendous amount of money locked in your database that you’ll never see. 
Time is short already this year.  But implementing these 7 “musts” will get your year on track to be one of the best you’ve ever had.  By implementing these, you turn your career from work to production–and that’s the only goal of what you do, producing satisfied clients.


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