The Time-Saving Science Behind Sales
No matter what industry you’re in, the world of Sales is a machine that never sleeps, 24/7 around the globe. As greater demands are made on our time, we’re expected to fit more and more into the hours we have in the day: sending more emails, shaking more hands, generating leads, hitting higher targets – all while maintaining a grip on our social and family. It’s tough – we salespeople don’t know any other way – but it’s possible when you form the right habits to supercharge your day… here are 5 I’ve learned along the way.
Digital Networking On Social Media
You must be consistent, and relentless, with your digital networking. But in doing so, you must understand your target audience. LinkedIn is the obvious choice for contacts and outreach, but what about social media? Understanding your audience’s behaviour at different points of the day allows you to put out content that will engage them.
- At what time are they likely to be looking at social media and what are they looking for? Use the Insights tab on your Facebook page to so you can post (and advertise) accordingly.
- Are they talking on Twitter? Get used to 280 characters of insight and link-sharing at the times of day that they are most engaged.
Put out the content that drives consumer behaviour towards your desired goal. Don’t get lazy and post out the same links on all of your platforms. And most of all, don’t click ‘post’ and sit back waiting for the leads to come in; follow up on comments, jump into conversations online, and engage everybody as if they are a potential lead down the line.
It takes time to grow and develop a network online. Don’t expect to win a deal, or go viral on the first content you post. This attitude leads to people giving up, concluding that social media is a waste of time for them. Social media is a long game: consistency reaps rewards. Be the centre of your audience’s world and trust me, when people need a service or product similar to what you offer, you will be at the forefront of their mind.
Power Up Your Meetings And Make Them More Effective
Only attend meetings if you are 100% certain they will produce positive results.
By this I mean, at the point of confirming a meeting and going ahead with it, you should be most certain that the meeting will give you a result. The groundwork has been done, the relationship has been established, and you both fully understand and respect each other’s services and/or products.
The meeting should be a shake of the hands, a coffee or a beer, and a deal closed. It should not be an episode of Ego Street. DO NOT waste your time massaging egos – this will only backfire.
Do not let meetings go on for longer than 45 minutes. How many times have you been in a meeting and people (including you) are talking for talking’s sake? Yes, have the small talk and chit chat but GET IN, GET IT CLOSED, GET OUT, and move on to the next opportunity.
You can ensure meetings don’t overrun in a number of ways. My go-tos are:
- Setting the default meeting length in my calendar to 30 minutes. This reminds me every time I schedule a meeting that I should keep it to 30 minutes if possible, and increase it only to a maximum of 45 minutes if necessary
- Begin the conversation with a clear agenda of what you want to achieve in the set amount of minutes, and a subtle hint that it can’t go on any longer e.g. “We’re here to discuss X, Y and Z in the 45 minutes we have today, before I head to the train/airport to travel to another meeting.”
Make Exercise Your Highest Priority
Exercise feeds the brain with dopamine which is a chemical produced in the brain which makes you feel good. If you feel good, you approach business development in a positive frame of mind and positivity attracts better results. Do your exercise in the morning, where possible. You’ll have more energy, you will boost your mood for the day, and it will give you a chance to assess the day ahead of you.
Some of the smartest entrepreneurs see this, and place exercise as important, or even more important than, their business. Why? Because if you look after yourself, you’ll be better equipped to look after business. It’s why top CEOs are turning to meditation in their quest for success: practicing mindfulness helps improve creativity, and build resilience.
Learn To Spot And Avoid Negativity
Avoid negative people and negativity at all costs. This will only hinder you as a person and consume valuable energy and concentration. Remove people from your life who hold you back: this sounds extreme, but 9 time out of 10, they keep you close to to feed their own insecurities. Sometimes, this is going to be hard: these people might be some of your closest friends, or even family. But as an entrepreneur, you need to learn how to spot these people, and quickly stop them from affecting your mindset.
Remember though, to always be polite about it, as you never know when the person may be of value to you further down the road.
Get Into The Habit Of Taking Notes
It still amazes me how many meetings I have where the other person doesn’t take notes. I suspect most of the time, it’s because the person feels like they either shouldn’t, because it would reflect badly on them for some reason, or to show that they don’t need to – they are a genius who can remember everything.
At the end of the day, every time you don’t take notes is a chance for an interaction, an idea, or a lead, to be forgotten about, so why risk it? Keep detailed notes of every idea, interaction. Make sure you log every opportunity, whether good or bad.
Don’t just take my word for it – some of the world’s most successful and influential people are sticklers for note-taking, including, famously, Richard Branson. Some of the world’s finest ideas started out as a scribble of pen on paper.
Every time I meet somebody new, such as a potential client, I always make sure I immediately make a note of something inconsequential they said – maybe a daughter’s birthday, or an upcoming holiday – so that next time I speak to them, by email, on the phone, or in person, I can mention it to them. 10 time out of 10, they are impressed. Always. Recalling these details are what get you remembered.
Note-taking isn’t just for ideas, either. Keep a log of how you feel during the day, as your mindset and state of mind impacts on your successes and failures. Critically analyse your own performance and aim to reflect and refine your tools based on trends you find through your note-taking.
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