Seth Godin wrote a blog entry entitled Do More vs Do Better. The premise being that working smarter is more effective than working harder. As usual I enjoyed Seth’s thought, and was impressed with how he gets his message across with so few words!
Having said that, I have always subscribed to the school of thought that putting in the effort will result in good things. So, my message is that working smarter is ALWAYS a good thing, but if you couple that with a strong work ethic then the world is your oyster!
Here are some ideas for salespeople about how they might differentiate from the pack … in “smarts” and in work ethic!
1. Work ethic. When you are “on the job” … work! Don’t waste time, don’t fool around, don’t goof off, don’t spend lots of time on personal stuff, don’t read the news or follow your sports teams … WORK!
2. Focus your efforts on high return activities … activity that will lead to business.
3. Determine what your CORE SELLING HOURS are … and spend that time with clients, physically where possible, but certainly having conversations! If your clients start their day early that mean the first part of your day is when you can most likely talk to your clients. Don’t “waste” your core selling hours on non-productive activities.
4. Be GREAT at time management. Work at it … and constantly refine your time management techniques.
5. Set aside LOTS of time for face to face meetings (Zoom etc. is a reasonable fallback in a pandemic) with clients and prospects.
6. Set aside time for setting up face to face meetings with clients and prospects.
7. Learn lessons from success (and failure) … who within your network can give you advice, ideas, suggestions that will help you. Befriend the most successful salespeople and learn from them! Watch the least successful and understand why!
8. Always look for ways to bring value to your clients… and what is valuable for one is likely valuable for many, so do the work once and share with many people!
9. Invest in yourself… get formal sales training, get public speaking training etc.
10. Look out for your colleagues …what you give will come back in spades.
Don’t be afraid of hard work … but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a life. Working smart can mean you are more productive in a 40 hour week than others may be in a 50 hour week! Of course the salesperson that works smart AND puts in the time gets the biggest prize!