This time of year, is always very busy in the sales world. We’re in the middle of Q2 and getting ready not only to close out the quarter but, shortly, to close out the first half of the year. Hopefully, you are all on target to exceed your quarterly goals and also have a successful first half.
It’s also a great time to review the basic habits that all salespeople, and their managers, should be doing on a daily basis. No matter how long you’ve been working in sales or sales management, it’s good to make sure you and your team members are doing these basic sales behaviors.
Make Sure the Sale is REALLY Sold
Every salesperson gets excited when they make a big sale…and many times they can’t wait to tell everyone about it. But, my experience has shown me that it’s better to wait a bit until “the ink has dried” and you’re absolutely sure before spreading the word about the big sale. I’ve seen overly enthusiastic salespeople tell senior management about a deal, quoting big dollars, only to see the big sale disappear like a mirage in Joshua Tree.
You should definitely get excited when you close a deal but just make sure it’s really closed before you shout it out to the entire organization. It will definitely save you from getting headaches if you wait until it’s really closed.
Make Appointments with Yourself
Think about all the things you should be doing every day: reading the news about your particular industry, responding to emails, creating and building presentations, etc. When you have a meeting with a client, you obviously add the meeting to your calendar…you might, in fact, also add the travel time to get to the meeting. When you have an internal meeting, you are often invited through your calendar.
Rather than always being in ‘reactive’ mode, go ahead and book time on your calendar to take care of these daily tasks. Put 30 minutes on the books to read the daily news about your industry. Block out an hour to build your presentation deck well in advance of your meeting rather than in the car driving to the meeting. Your presentation will be better and more effective if you’ve taken the time to thoughtfully create it as opposed to a last-minute effort.
Better to be 30 minutes Early than 5 minutes Late
Current and former teammates of mine will certainly recognize this…I’m a big believer in punctuality. I believe that if your customer is willing to take the time to meet with you in their very busy day, you absolutely owe it to them to be on time. It’s really not that tough to be punctual. I live in Southern California and I’m well aware of the traffic on our freeways but that just means to me that you have to allow the extra time for travelling to your meeting. Yes, there are times when a massive accident takes place and you may indeed be late to the occasional meeting. But most of the time, when it is regular traffic, as a professional, you need to be on time to meet with your customer. And that includes allowing for any tech set-up time, too.
If you’ve arrived 30 minutes early you also have the luxury of gathering your thoughts, or talking with teammates, one last time before the customer meeting in a relaxed way…this will enable you to be calm when the meeting begins.
Finish Your Day with Tomorrow’s To-Do List
It’s been a long day…back-to-back meetings and you’ve still got emails to return. Not to mention getting on the freeway for the commute home. BUT…before you pack it in and start thinking about a cabernet, put your activities down in writing for tomorrow. Ideally, you have a to-do list every day that you work through. Review what you accomplished today and remove them from your list. Anything that still needs work, you can leave on the list, or move up in priority if needed. New things also need to be added and once you have your list for tomorrow, you can quickly prioritize the list so that you’ll know exactly what you need to do in the morning.
Those of us in sales know better than most that your time is the most valuable currency you own…treat it carefully and with respect.
Tomorrow will most likely be as busy as today was so your updated to-do list will complement your morning coffee and give you a head start for the day.
We’ll have some more effective sales habits next week.