We’re Too Busy Being Busy!

Peady’s Selling Engagement

Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.I’d like to share a story.

Currently I’m working on a project involving a sales team who from day one, have consistently fallen behind on the agreed benchmarks to deliver the results. No matter how many renegotiated agreements are made the team still struggle. On Friday, I received an email from the sales manager to explain why this was happening. They are all “too busy”!

Activity vs. results

Often sales people, particularly poor performers (and poorly performing teams) confuse activity with accomplishment. They get so caught up in client servicing, following up on queries, doing paperwork and preparing to sell, that they actually don’t do the “sell” bit.

Writer Ernest Hemingway summed it up perfectly: “Never mistake motion for action”

Just because you show up at work every day doesn’t mean you are getting anything done; and focussing on the number of hours you work, just confuses the issue further.

The problem with “busy” is that “productive” gets postponed until Friday and then never gets done at all.

Time is not a factor. Making progress, and accomplishing your goals is.

The activity, going to work; doesn’t lead to accomplishing anything (although it can easily take up most of your day). One of the salespeople I worked with, says she spends 3 hours a day just sending and returning emails!

So, what does it take to get the sales role done right?

Back to basics

To make the most of your time stick to some simple rules by blocking out time in your planner for selling activity:

  • Ensure time for research of 1 hour per day
  • Allocate 2 hours every day for prospecting calls (either F2F or on the phone)
  • Book a minimum of 10 new business meetings every week

Suddenly, you’ll be busy selling!

Two key takeaways

1. At the end of each day ask how much closer you came to accomplishing your most important selling goals.

2. Have a routine in place to get the absolute most out of tomorrow.

Until next week good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]