I went out this morning to fill the birdbath with water. After turning on the hose, I saw that my car needed washing.
I headed toward the car when I noticed the mailman at the street so I decided to look through the mail first. I laid the car keys down on the table and tossed the junk mail in the trash when I noticed that the can was full.
My checkbook was nearby on the table, so I thought I would go ahead and pay the bills first. There was only one check left, and since the extras were in the office, I went there. In the office, I found the diet Dr. Pepper I was drinking earlier.
I planned to look for the checks, but first I sat the drink aside so I wouldn’t knock it over, and since it was getting warm I opted to put it in the frig until later. Walking toward the kitchen I noticed the flowers on the counter needed to be watered.
As I sat the drink down I discovered my reading glasses that had eluded me all morning. I figured they should be returned to my desk, but those flowers really needed to be watered first.
So I sat the glasses down and filled a water pitcher, but out of the corner of my eye saw the TV remote that got left on the kitchen table. I knew when TV time arrived tonight I wouldn’t remember it was on the kitchen table. So I decided to put it back in the family room, but first I must water those flowers.
I spilled quite a bit of water, so I laid the remote back down, got some towels and wiped up the spill. Then I headed down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.
At the end of the day;
The lawn wasn’t watered,
The car was still dirty,
The bills weren’t paid,
There was a warm can of soda on the counter,
The flowers didn’t get enough water,
There was still only one check in my checkbook,
I can’t find the remote or my glasses,
I don’t remember what I did with the car keys, and
My neighbor called to tell me he turned off my hose.
When I tried to figure out why nothing got done today, I’m really baffled because I know how busy I was and how tired I am now. I realize this is a serious problem, and I’ll try to get some help for it, but first I need to check my email…
From that paragraph of confusing chatter above it’s obvious that everybody participates in activities of different types, and salespeople are no exception. They prospect, attend networking events, respond to leads, and chase decision makers; all part of an effort to generate sales. But does all that busyness equate to closed business? Do those activities spawn productivity and progress toward your goals?
As you read this post you’re probably already thinking, “Here we go again. This guy is going to pontificate about his complex selling system that I won’t even be able to understand. This will be the fifth such system I’ve heard about this year.”
WRONG! If you’re thinking like that, you obviously don’t know I’m a caveman and always embrace concepts that are simple and transferable.
That said, I read about an MIT cosmologist (somebody who studies the origin and evolution of the universe…not a beauty treatment specialist) named Max Tegmark who has long stated that everything in the universe is math. I didn’t even finish college, but after 68 years stumbling around the planet, I think I agree with him. So to improve the odds that your sales activity leads to productivity, let’s explore a simple point system that will help you keep the main thing the main thing and focus on always advancing the sale. Many of you are familiar with my position that, “You can’t close it until you propose it.”
For most blue collar outside salespeople, the following activities will produce productivity, and can easily be scored using the following point system:
1 point for each sales appointment scheduled, whether from company leads or self-generated efforts.
2 points for each presentation/proposal delivered.
3 points for each sale consummated, regardless of size.
Using this system, your weekly goal should probably be 45 points.
Now before you dis the above suggestion, let me explain how I came up with these numbers. I’m visualizing a rep who receives one company lead per day and generates another lead per day personally. That would generate 10 points. Secondly I’m expecting this rep will complete two proposals per day, generating another 20 points. And finally, since “Selling is like shaving; if you don’t do a little every day you will soon become a bum,” let’s say this rep closes one sale per day, for an additional 15 points, totaling 45 points for the week.
(If my suggestions don’t fit your business model, simply change the activity numbers and the weekly point total to reflect what you sell and your marketplace. The important thing is to track the three activities mentioned above and multiply them by some numerical value.)
That’s about as simple as a sales game plan can get. By maintaining 45 points each week a salesperson will always be progressing and increasing their sales totals, as their sales funnel remains full.
So stop confusing activity with productivity and adopt this simple tool and then hold yourself accountable to this strategy.
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