“The more we’ve got where we know we’re doing something that makes a difference, the more relaxed we can be that we’re doing the right thing.” – Fred Copestake in today’s Tip 1638
Do you do the right thing?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Fred Copestake. Fred is a bestselling author, trainer and coach. In the last 23 years he has worked in 36 countries and trained over 10,000 salespeople. His motto is that sales should be about ‘Good people, doing good things, in a good way’. Here he is:
Fred Copestake: Let’s have a look at what’s stopping people get results. This is what I’ve seen working with a bunch of companies, and there’s quite a lot of commonality to it. Again, I’ll be direct on this. It’s to do with being ineffective, old-fashioned, and confused.
If salespeople are that, it’s unlikely that they’ll be achieving results. Busy, busy, busy. This is all the stuff about being ineffective. And so what we’re selves, we’re being wasteful, tired, and unfocused. When people are being wasteful, basically what’s happening is we’re chucking away our most precious resource, which is time, and we’re throwing it away. We know loads of people will do stuff that’s trivial. Why? Because it’s easy, it’s fun. We all do it guilty as charged.
But for me, it’s when people are not doing thoughtful activity, they’re not spending time thinking, people will lose the best opportunities and this is where we start to get wasteful. Because they’re not using time well, they end up losing the chance to make an impact on customers.
What happens then? Well, that means they chase success by putting more effort into stuff. They’re throwing good effort after bad, but they’re doing the same thing. And the same thing doesn’t work. So we get into this vicious circle and this is really tiring. It ends up pretty stressful. I mean, that is not a good place to be. We want to not have salespeople who are getting stressed. This is all this unfocused activity, running around in circles, spinning plates. People like to feel busy, I think. I’ve seen this in salespeople where they’re doing, Oh, yeah, lots and lots of stuff. I’m driving hundreds of miles. I’m seeing loads of people. My diary is looking like this. But it’s not making a difference because it’s not focused on the things that are what would have an impact.
These are a couple of things that we see. We counter those problems, let’s count them head on. The busy, busy, busy is all about being more effective. I’m all about being more effective. We prepare, plan, and use process. I’ll go through these in a little bit more detail. Preparation, this is making the most of the opportunities. One of the things that I really encourage salespeople to do is to take time to stop and think. Thinking time. This is crucial. I see in some organizations where people need to be moving, moving, moving, doing stuff all the time, but really we should be stopping and thinking.
Investing time to understand about the customer, what it is they’re trying to achieve, and then how we can use that to work with them. Taking time to think about who are the right people to work with, where we can do that. Choose the right prospects. Understand stuff that’s important to them. Preparation time is so valuable. This can feed into planning, planning the work balance. This is what it’s going to stress people when they’re trying to do too much and too little time. But think about not everything is a priority. Decide which things are going to make a difference. That’s part of the preparation, and then work out what it is you’re going to do.
Plans. Actually, plans are nothing. Plans are everything. In other words that as soon as we have a plan, it’s likely to have to change. Yes, we know that. But if you spend the time preparing and then thinking about what it is you’re going to do, it’s way easier to adapt. So for me, planning, we should be planning this from accounts all the way through the activity we’re doing into calls and meetings.
Self-management is key. That’s a biggie for a lot of salespeople. Just using their time well by making intelligent decisions about how they’re going to invest it. It’s all part of planning process. And talking of process, process is the other big thing we can do here. Focusing on things to drive the right activity, tried and tested methods, structuring a way of working that’s right for you, the organization, the customer.
It’s weird. Some salespeople seem to see this as a weakness. They want to be intuitive. They do it their way and they’ll respond, wing it. You end up wasting way more time. But having systems, procedures, templates, things we know that work and we can do time and time again is a smart way of operating. The more we’ve got where we know we’re doing something that makes a difference, the more relaxed we can be that we’re doing the right thing.
Scott Ingram: Now it’s your turn do the right thing and click over DailySales.Tips/1638 so you can connect with Fred and check out his scorecard. Once you’ve done that, be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!